Barbara U. Yeager (Challenges of Proofreading, YB Digest July 27)
has touched on some issues that have concerned me, also, as
coordinator for the Rzeszow Yizkor Book translation. I appreciate
Barbara's identifying the sub-tasks involved in proofreading, and
the difficulties they present.
I have experienced the dilemma of trying to decide on the
correct transliteration of a name in exactly the way Barbara has
described it. I have knowledge of many surnames in Rzeszow,
so that in some cases I have no hesitation in requesting the
translator to revise the spelling. In the case of a name that
was transliterated as Shiffer, one has to know that the letters
peh and feh are represented by the same Hebrew letter and that
the name could also be Shipper. Knowing that there was a
SHIPPER family in Rzeszow, I then searched lists to see if I could
find a Shiffer family. I could not find Shiffer, but Rzeszow was a
town of approximately 12,000 Jews. It is possible that there was
also a Shiffer family. The text presented no obvious clue, such
as occupation or position on a committee, or even a first name.
I wrote to someone who listed the surname Shipper from
Rzeszow in the JewishGen Family Finder, but he was unable
to provide an answer. I decided to use the name Shipper, but I
am aware that I may have made an error that will be discovered
by someone in the future.
Barbara Yeager wrote, "Moreover, certain errors may be detected
only months or even years later when someone with personal
knowledge of the material brings it to our attention."
Barbara is correct. I believe that despite our efforts to submit
accurate translations and transliterations, inevitably, our material
will include some errors. Perhaps the Yizkor Book Translation
Project would consider that making corrections and revisions
will necessarily be a routine part of its superb work.
Coordinator, Rzeszow (zhe-zhov) YB translation