Why Proofreading Translations is a Must

Why Proofreading Translations is a Must

From catching errors as simple as typos to larger translation mistakes – proofreading translations matters.

Proofreading translations helps your company publish polished and professional texts free from careless errors. Proofreading adds an extra layer of polish that ensures your text is just as impactful to its new audience as it was in its original language.

At its essence, proofreading is about double-checking work to make sure everything’s in order.

Translation-based proofreading involves careful analysis of punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary. But it also involves analyzing context and industry-appropriate word selection. A word translated out of context creates inaccurate terminology. And whether you’re using machine-aided translation or human translators – proofreading ensures accuracy and quality in translations.

What is Proofreading for Translation?

Proofreading is the act of systematically reading through a text to identify and correct errors in:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Formatting
  • Translation Accuracy

Proofreading is critical to ensure your text’s correct and seamless translation. Although some clients may hire a proofreader as an extra set of eyes to review the text, translators should always proofread their work to make sure they haven’t left errors. But the most critical role for translators in the proofreading phase is ensuring they’ve chosen the most appropriate words in their translation.

People unfamiliar with language and translation services aren’t always aware that some words don’t have direct translations, and sometimes a “best fit” must be chosen. Other times, a word’s meaning can change based on the applied context or originating language’s culture. For this reason, translators must be diligent about researching ambiguous terms to match them to the appropriate specialized cultural idioms, slang, or industry-based jargon.

In Summation: Proofreading is the first step to ensuring readability and accuracy of a translated text.

two business women proofreading translations

What is Copy-Editing for Translation?

Copy-editing takes proofreading one step further. Including everything done by a proofreader, copy-editors also work to match a text’s flow to the author’s original intent, style, and voice.

Copy-editing can include:

  • Reworking passages to enhance clarity in the new language
  • Editing sentences that don’t translate
  • Matching author voice, tone, and style
  • Improving the overall flow
  • Searching industry and corporate glossaries for best fit terms
  • Flagging and sending suggestions for inaccurate terms to the translator for approval.

The copy-editors work is meticulous and focuses on transforming the translation into a text as impactful and personality-filled as the original. Copy-editors match the translated text to the intended audience, so the translation is just as powerful as it was for its original audience.

In Summation: Copy-editors enhance the translated text to achieve the same level of impact, audience-specific relevance, and author tone as the original text.

Proofreading Translations and Copy-Editing – Who Does It?

Translators typically act as proofreaders and copy-editors when it comes to translated texts because so much of the editing process ensures accuracy of translation. However, proofreading and copy-editing isn’t always done by the individual who originally translated the text. Often, clients prefer working with a second translator to catch any errors the first translator might have missed.

Both services are often included in the deal worked out between you and your translation company. If you’re working with independent translators, many people opt to hire a second translator to act as the proofreader, and later as the copy-editor.

Do Proofreading and Copy-Editing Services Cost Extra?

If you work with independent translators, there’ll of course be additional fees for hiring a second person to proof your text. But translation agencies often will discuss whether you’re looking for proofreading services ahead of time, so they can bundle that into your overall project rate.

When Should You Hire a Proofreader or Copy-Editor?

The decision to hire a proofreader or copy-editor depends on several variables. If money and timing are factors, it can be tempting to skip out of the proofreading process. And if your translated texts are simply for internal messaging or relaying information to team members, then proofreading might not be the most impactful.

But if your translated text is going to be published for a larger audience and is a critical launching point for your business, services, or products – hiring a proofreader is a must. Typos and errors signal a lack of professionalism and can be huge turn-offs for readers who are analyzing how professional your company is through each piece of writing.

Additionally, critical documents like medical texts, contracts, and legal texts should always be checked for errors.

Want the benefit of world-class proofreading, without the headache of finding a qualified translator?

It can be a struggle finding qualified translators, then starting the hunt all over again to find top proofreaders. With over 5,000 translators and interpreters in our network qualified in 200+ unique languages and dialects, we at Arriva Translations pride ourselves in offering bespoke, top-of-the-line, white-glove translation, proofreading, and interpretation services to clients in the legal, financial, and medical industries.

Reach out to schedule your translator and proofreading team today – We’re excited to meet you!

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