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Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby NonTocareLeTete » 10 Apr 2012, 23:10

Here's a touching quote from the last article I edited...

Yes. Teaching is the most popular choice for women as you are more instinctive and have better teaching capabilities. (sorry guys!)
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby Petrichor » 12 Apr 2012, 01:44

NonTocareLeTete wrote:I am SO tempted to re-write though. Today I've edited an article about how terrible it is to put a child up for adoption (particularly offensive to me because my nephews are adopted and to me, the birth mothers are heroes) and how every girl wants 'fair' skin. Of course I left notes that these things are not culturally appropriate in most English-speaking countries.
Today also brought an article about how one should flee when they see a baby shark because it's sure that the mother shark is near and will protect her young (most sharks leave their mothers at birth-- actually it's the mother that is dangerous because she will attack her young.)
siiiiiiighhhhhh.
They're also full of other inconsistencies, like there will be a dialogue in which one person says, "I went skydiving for the first time today!" (actually, did Skydiving. They did skydiving) and then they talk about how it was the person's first time skydiving. The duo moves on to other topics only to return to skydiving. One character says "Are you a skydiving expert?" and the other says, "No, it was my first time." to which the other character responds "Oh! It was your first time!" as if this information wasn't covered like, 20 seconds ago in the same conversation.
I am doing my best to make the English better and ease the burden on the reader. The 20 test articles I did (before I agreed to the work) weren't so bad. I just hate to be a part of something low quality.
But yes, the money is nice, and I have spoken about quality to the guy who asked me to do the work and have written 'editor's notes' where needed, so I guess my moral obligation is... :whistle: :oops: :ponder:

Anyways...never again :no-no: I'll finish the work I agreed to but I don't like how this makes me feel.
Thanks for letting me complain forumosa world.


Be quiet and take the money, woman! :lol:

Seriously, what bizarre topics. I'd be interested to know the frequency of a word like skydiving. Really useful.
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby ironlady » 12 Apr 2012, 03:55

I once had to present a 30-minute English teaching radio show for high school students on "The Granny Smith Apple."
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby NonTocareLeTete » 12 Apr 2012, 14:41

Petrichor wrote:
Be quiet and take the money, woman! :lol:

Seriously, what bizarre topics. I'd be interested to know the frequency of a word like skydiving. Really useful.

You're prob right about the money. I had the same problem working in buxibans- I didn't feel like I was helping the kids (actually felt like I was doing harm because I thought they'd be better off spending time with their families, developing hobbies and relaxing) and making my living doing something that I felt wasn't improving the world messed with my head. If I'm going to spend so much time doing something, it better be good.
But yeah in this case I'm taking the money and running. Worst case scenario, someone in an English-speaking country gets a kick out of the craziness, or the product doesn't sell well, which, in the end, isn't strictly my fault.

IronLady I'd love to see how you stretched Granny Smith apples into a 30 min lesson ;) I imagine that it could be good, but I myself would have to have a stroke of inspiration to do well at that.
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby finley » 12 Apr 2012, 15:19

I felt wasn't improving the world messed with my head. If I'm going to spend so much time doing something, it better be good.
Worst case scenario, someone in an English-speaking country gets a kick out of the craziness, or the product doesn't sell well, which, in the end, isn't strictly my fault.

I have this exact problem. Just this week my SO came to me with a document that she wanted me to "fix". It was the text for a package insert, intended to go into a cosmetic product; basically, some bumf about why the manufacturers do what they do (natural farming - the products are mostly essential oils). She insisted that I "shouldn't change the meaning - just correct the grammar".

That was impossible. The document was written in Chinese, but using English words. I'm sure you know what I mean. I know the businesspeople involved and I have a lot of respect for what they do, but their writing would have made them look like bumbling amateurs. Basically, it was two pages of self-indulgent, long-winded cant. I tried to explain to her that L'Oreal or The Body Shop wouldn't go to some friend of a friend to get their local advertising copy written. I tried to tell her that western audiences are used to reading things differently, and that English is written differently. I tried to tell her that anything that takes more than 30 seconds to read doesn't belong on a package insert. I tried to tell her that however moving the original Chinese may have been, her English version (she translated it) would not preserve the meaning and intent. But no, the customer wants it LIKE THAT, and nothing else will do.

It all ended badly, with me being called all sorts of names (it is, apparently, dreadfully insulting to advise someone that their marketing method may be ineffective) and I skulked off to "fix the grammar". The frustrating part is that I would like these guys to succeed - they're attempting to break into English-speaking markets - but they're just going to end up as another no-name company who gets their stuff laughed at on EngrishFunny.com.
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby ironlady » 12 Apr 2012, 20:56

NonTocareLeTete wrote:IronLady I'd love to see how you stretched Granny Smith apples into a 30 min lesson ;) I imagine that it could be good, but I myself would have to have a stroke of inspiration to do well at that.


I don't think it was good, that's for sure.
We used to get the worst topics. Or else we'd be doing a two- or three-broadcast series on a movie that hadn't yet been released. I remember doing "Message in a Bottle" and obviously none of us had ever seen it since it hadn't come out yet, but we had to go on for 90 minutes about it.

This, I think, is what led to my tendency to say things on the air like, "That reminds me of another English idiom that has the letter "b" in it", and telling all the jokes my dad used to tell when I was like four years old. I'm glad to be out of radio English teaching, even though I was making a killing at it at the time because of the way my contract was written.

I also worked for a well-known publishing house -- we'll call it "Far West Publications" -- in Taipei, and had the displeasure of editing a large number of questionable English materials, including the famous book of "common English idioms" compiled by a professor from NTU. Six out of every ten were wrong, and about half of them weren't even idioms that anyone in the office had ever heard of (and we had international English represented, it wasn't just my American dialect). I still use "it's all the same banana", though, since the professor assured us it was a very common English expression, and I want to be cutting-edge. :D
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby E04teacherlin » 13 Apr 2012, 01:48

ironlady wrote:
I also worked for a well-known publishing house -- we'll call it "Far West Publications" -- in Taipei, and had the displeasure of editing a large number of questionable English materials, including the famous book of "common English idioms" compiled by a professor from NTU. Six out of every ten were wrong, and about half of them weren't even idioms that anyone in the office had ever heard of (and we had international English represented, it wasn't just my American dialect). I still use "it's all the same banana", though, since the professor assured us it was a very common English expression, and I want to be cutting-edge. :D


I've heard that phrase used in porn, but nowhere else.
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby ironlady » 13 Apr 2012, 02:54

Clearly you need to get out more, or expand your DVD collection.
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Re: Editing and we are all staying in the outhouse tonight!

Postby Petrichor » 13 Apr 2012, 05:05

NonTocareLeTete wrote:You're prob right about the money. I had the same problem working in buxibans- I didn't feel like I was helping the kids (actually felt like I was doing harm because I thought they'd be better off spending time with their families, developing hobbies and relaxing) and making my living doing something that I felt wasn't improving the world messed with my head. If I'm going to spend so much time doing something, it better be good.
But yeah in this case I'm taking the money and running. Worst case scenario, someone in an English-speaking country gets a kick out of the craziness, or the product doesn't sell well, which, in the end, isn't strictly my fault.

IronLady I'd love to see how you stretched Granny Smith apples into a 30 min lesson ;) I imagine that it could be good, but I myself would have to have a stroke of inspiration to do well at that.


Yeah, I don't think I could work in a buxiban either, not unless I was secretly making peppermint creams with the kids rather than getting their test scores up, and I don't think I'd get away with that for long. On the other hand, I once read a quote from Richard Feynmann along the lines of 'you don't have to take responsibility for the world' which was appropriate from someone who helped develop the first nuclear bomb. We only get one life, might as well enjoy it and not sweat the small stuff. I probably would have corrected it and scrawled 'inappropriate/inaccurate use of English' or, 'English, but not as it is used in any English-speaking country' at the end. Stuff them.

I could talk for 30 minutes on the Granny Smith Apple, as long as I was allowed to bring other varieties such as the Cox's Orange Pippin and Ashmead's Kernel into the discussion. :)
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