The Collaborative Edge: Mutual Revision as a Way to Improve Translations – and Translators

Good enough.” That was how Simon Berrill and Victoria Patience rated their translation work two years ago. Like many mid-career translators, we were in a rut: we wanted to improve the quality of our texts but knew that getting every translation professionally edited might not be practical or appropriate for all clients.

We decided to try a different approach and set up a mutual revision and critiquing arrangement with a third translator, Tim Gutteridge. Our online exchanges had a much broader impact than we had expected, helping us to improve not just specific texts but our translation technique in general and becoming an unexpected source of professional support.

In this talk, we explain how what we call “RevClub” works, examine the benefits of a collaborative approach to improving translations and show how this differs from standard editorial or academic revision. By arguing that giving and getting supportive criticism is vital to our professional growth as translators, we hope to inspire others to turn to their colleagues and explore active community-based approaches to CPD.

Simon Berrill is a British translator working from Spanish, Catalan and French into English and specialising in areas related to tourism, particularly history, heritage and wine. A member of the ITI, the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters of Catalonia and Mediterranean Editors and Translators, he has presented talks and workshops at the MET annual conference on several occasions.

He also writes a regular blog. Simon is a former journalist and lives near Barcelona with his wife and son.

He loves travelling, meeting new people, especially translators, and discovering new wines. He hates bananas and people who voted for Brexit.

Simon will be presenting with Victoria Patience.