I do mentoring very often in various ways.
I have a comprehensive Google sheet, with sections on most common mistakes. I won’t expand a lot on this, you French mods have the most wonderful Google sheets, so you already know all about it.
I send feedback, especially to new collaborators. While I edit, I copy paste the English, under that their translation, with an explanation of why it is not correct and how it can be made better. Sometimes I include dictionary entries or links where they can find further explanation.
This is VERY time consuming so I don’t do it every single time for every single person, as you may understand!!! It is a thing I do without asking if they want feedback or not. I do it so that they don’t keep making the same mistakes.
The reactions? 95% thank me saying that no other moderator has taken this trouble, they just edit and that’s it. Or say “thank you, I’ll keep those things in mind”. I’ve had people say that they don’t agree with one or more of the corrections, leading to an interesting discussion. And I’ve also had a small number of people who were very pissed off at my “arrogance” saying it’s an ego trip, so they quarrelled saying harsh words and since then we don’t talk to each other. One of them, a subber from English to Greek, told me: “How dare you correct me, who have been a French teacher for 30 years?” I still remember this and laugh. I’ve also taught Italian for 40 years, so does this mean I can sub in Arabic or Polish?
Live Skype sessions
I have found it very useful to correct their subs together through Skype. Without a camera, we don’t need to see each other, it is enough to have sound and to “share screen” so we can both see Subtitle Editor. I am there and I “share screen” with the subber. We read aloud, I explain what is wrong and why, let the person suggest a better way, I help her find it, and then I correct.
This has yielded the very best results and it’s much quicker than the written version. It also allows for interaction, it ensures they listen to everything (in reading, they might skip if it’s too long) and makes them think on their own, feeling they collaborate on the editing.
Correct on their own
In old videos nobody is looking at I have done a different kind of mentoring, inspired by the way of the Ninja Academy. Unfortunately there isn’t a separate line over the subs to put my commets on, so I put discreet markers on their subs, like asterisks. I make a list of the main topics where they did wrong, and tell them to look at those subs with the asterisks and see what is wrong, correcting them on their own according to what I told them. For istance, my comment could be:
a. You used a lot of English words. In the guidelines it is clearly said to only use Italian words, unless there isn’t any.
b. In dialogues, remember to use a space between the hyphen and the sentence.
c. Don’t use breaks unless it’s a dialogue, lyric or explanation note.
d. Don’t use capitals for job titles and family titles.
e. You translated a couple of English idioms word by word and they don’t make any sense. Find which ones they are, look them up here and find a better equivalent.
If they correct all this, a bit step can be made and we can proceed to correct the rest. Having them correct their own mistakes on their own instead of me doing all the editing, even for the boring formatting stuff is best for both of us. Next time they will remember not to do those things, and I will have less work. Win-win situation.