Our Unbabel Community is committed to promoting talent. It is part of our mission to help our editors develop and progress in their role. That's why we carefully select community members based on performance and engagement to unlock access to reviews.
If you're interested in joining this select pool of freelancers or have been promoted to Senior Editor by your Community Manager, here's what you need to know to thrive in this key position.
The Senior role
The Senior Editor role unlocks your access to reviews. Reviews exist so that the Senior can refine a translation document before delivering it to the final customer. Before a review is made available to a Senior as an entire document (FAQs or website/marketing content), it is important to note that the text was previously divided into small parts, and worked by several editors. This means that quality requirements are higher for reviews than for tasks.
It's a Senior's job to revise the post-edition portion of the text, and not only proofread it. A review is the revision of a translation as fit for the agreed purpose by comparing the source and target texts and making corrections where necessary, as opposed to proofreading where the focus is on the target text and detecting errors (target language errors and not necessarily translation errors).
The three key aspects of the Senior Editor role, while working on a review, are:
Terminology compliance: make sure customer and domain specific terms are translated properly. This may or may not be part of the glossary. One of the main responsibilities of a Senior Editor is to ensure all terminology is correct, even when there are no glossaries for it. That’s a major difference to the tasks. To achieve this, we recommend doing some research on the customer website in order to understand the current terminology you should be using.
Fluency: It’s crucial to achieve a fluent, native-sounding translation by adapting the message for the target language audience. Reviews are the final step before that text goes to a client and, in many cases, will be put directly onto their website. As it will have been edited by many different editors before it reaches the Senior Editor, it's really important that when the review is completed it's of the highest possible quality.
Step back from the structure and wording of the source text, get rid of unnecessary repetitions, and look out for false friends. Part of fluency is also spotting any stylistic, spelling or punctuation mistakes that might have been missed in the human post-editing stage.
Consistency: Since each segment was edited by different editors, the Senior must ensure that there is consistency across segments (this may relate to how words are translated, or style). For example, if the word email appears in three different segments, it should be translated in the same way.
As with tasks, no specific academic background in translation and/or linguistics is required to work on reviews. It’s not mandatory for the Senior Editor to be a native speaker either in the source or target languages.
As we require the freelancer to have actively worked at least six months on the platform to be promoted, we expect the Senior to have advanced knowledge in editing all types of content uploaded by our clients (customer service, marketing, legal, gaming, travel and hospitality, and finance).
- Independent and/or proficient language level (source and target languages);
- Understanding of what makes an accurate and fluent translation;
- Good sense of customer expectations and ability to adjust to the customer's style;
- High engagement with community related updates and good communication skills;
- Attention to detail;
- Time management skills.
- First, look at the text: spend some time going through the text to decide whether it’s possible to work with it or not;
- Focus on client instructions: start by understanding the customer's style and tone (plus whether the register is formal or informal). Since a Senior has more time to complete a review than a task, they can check the client’s website for specific terms and more context on the service/product provided;
- Read source and target texts carefully before changing any terms;
- Refer to the Language Guidelines and Glossary terms and check if they have been correctly and consistently applied. At the end of each of the Language Guidelines, you will find a list of useful online resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses and academic papers;
- Perform a second reading: at this stage, you should be looking to edit style, general spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Avoid overly literal translations: anything that doesn’t sound natural to a native speaker should go. Remember, good fluency is paramount;
- Make sure to keep consistency throughout the text, keeping the client’s tone contained in the source text. Remember that before the review came in place, it was many smaller jobs edited by a range of paid editors;
- Give it a final readthrough: this will ensure that everything is perfect and you may well find corrections that have escaped your attention in the previous steps.
- If you don't feel comfortable with a translation, or think there is not enough time to complete the review, you may have to skip the text. When skipping or reporting a review, use the proper reason and write a small description of the issue encountered - this will help the Customer Support team to find a solution faster.
How to keep access to reviews
Reviews are not rated by evaluators as are tasks. Upon delivery, reviews are sent directly to our customers, who regularly send us feedback on the work received. The quality of work delivered by Seniors is monitored based on customer reports and constant quality checks performed by our Community Ops team.
Senior Editors should continue editing tasks in order to be evaluated for recent work. If a Senior Editor receives a rating below 4.0 in an evaluation, or if a pattern of suspicious behavior is detected during quality checks, they will lose access to reviews.
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