10 Must-Check in Editing Tagalog 

Editing Tagalog objectively is possible if the translator isn't that sensitive. Usually, translators labor over translations and the last thing they need is a marked up text coming back to them with every line commented on. Excessively marked text is enough to ruin a translator's day.

Yet as long as editors have a checklist of objective parameters, they must be confident enough to clean up the document and submit. So, what should they look for in editing Tagalog translation?

1 Look for the normal versus the unnatural word order. Ask the question: "How does a native speaker say this in actual conversation?"  Often, editing the translation to reflect the normal Tagalog word order will reduce the number of words in a sentence without affecting the meaning.

2 Look for thought units and check if the translator translated thought units. A thought unit is a segment that gives a complete meaning. Usually, brisk translation turns out a word-for-word transfer because there is no time to analyze the thought units.  Note this very long sentence: Tumanggap ng pasabi nang hindi lalampas sa petsa nang ilatag ang desisyong gagawa ng aksiyon tungkol sa balak ng paaralan na pagsuspinde/ o kundi man ay tungkol sa pag-aalis sa mag-aaral sa kasalukuyang kinalalagyan sa mga dahilang pandisiplina /sa loob ng higit sa sampung magkakasunod o natitipong araw ng pasukan sa takdang taon ng pasukan//. This sentence has very long thought units that need careful attention.

2 Look for pronouns or their absence. If used they should agree with their antecedents. Use appropriate pronouns to make the translation more reader friendly. (Mo, iyo, and ikaw are all translations for "you".) Consider putting them in place to avoid noun repetition even if noun repetition occurs in the source text. (Ito, nito, niya, dito, diyan, niyan, siya, sila, tayo, kami etc.) This is editing Tagalog document to keep it short.

3 Look at word variations and verb affixations. Check awkward words and expressions used consistently all throughout. In editing Tagalog, use the rightly affixed equivalent for better idiomatic flow. For example, maglalagay (will place/put), paglalagay (the act of putting/placing), ilalagay (to put/place), lalagyan (container/will be placed with contents), paglalagyan (container) could all play their parts in one document.   

4 Look for long sentences and consider splitting them for better readability. Often, technical translation especially legal documents do not normally subscribe to the 12-word-per-sentence index. Twelve is the maximum number of words a sentence should have to be readable and easy to understand. But source medical, legal, and technical texts will often have sentences that are too long. This becomes even more complicated as stems of modifiers modify other modifiers in one sentence. Split long sentences without losing the meaning.

5  Look at punctuation. Check that punctuation marks are placed in their natural places in the target text. Often translators follow even the source text's placement of punctuation that results in unnecessary pauses.

6  Look at whether the translation is logical. In Tagalog, "raise hand and point" is excessive and redundant because, when you "point" you raise your hand first.  So the translation is simply tumuro or ituro - "point", that is, this already implies raising of the hand. Same with "opened eyes and looked". It should be simply tumingin - "looked" - and not mumulat at tumingin (unless the act of opening eyes alone need to be directed to look as a second act). The one word equivalent already  implies that the eyes have been opened. What about nakaramdam ng takot - "felt fear"? The translation can simply be natakot - that is "felt fear" with the "feeling" implied. 

7 Look at the sequence of the ideas. In editing Tagalog, translators can move the sentences in a paragraph in a chronological sequence if moving means making sure the presentation of ideas remain in order. This can be done even if the resulting arrangement is different from the arrangement in the source text. 

8 Look at the markers or their absence. Ask: "How do native speakers say this in actual conversation?" In the example Bibili ako ng gulay (I will buy vegetables); Bibili ako ng mga gulay (I will buy vegetables), the plural marker mga is not obligatory. In the example Lahat ng mga babae, (All the women), mga is again, not obligatory, because of the word Lahat which already connotes the plural sense.

9 Look at the word combinations and see if they capture the cultural register: mabigat na problema, malubhang problema - between these two, mabigat na problema (serious problem) is more idiomatic. In actual use of the Tagalog language, rarely will malubha figure side by side with problema. But malubhang sakit (serious illness) is the more correct equivalent than mabigat na sakit.  

10 Look at the layout and heirarchy of headings. Note all highlights and uses of bullets or numbers, capitalizations and other markings. Check the running heads,the footer information and the copyright notice. Make all these consistent with the source text. Although checking these could very well fall under proofreading, editors can't miss them.

Editing Tagalog objectively requires fluency in both source and target languages.The translator is preferably a native speaker and uses the language within a Tagalog milieu. But translators who have not been using the language for a long time risk translation that is merely from memory using antiquated expressions of their former time in the region.

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