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Proofreading Your Translation Work

Imagine this scenario. You have an important marketing collateral to be translated from English into 3 different languages. This collateral needs to be presented to a potential client. You find a professional translation agency that has promised to deliver quick results at an attractive rate.

You sign up with them and they deliver as promised. Later you send these translated presentations to the prospect; unfortunately, the prospect is not impressed with your offering. What might have contributed to the business relationship not going forward? You review the translated documents with a proofreader only to realize that the document is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.

Why is Proofreading Important?

Though the situation above might sound farfetched, many professional translation service providers fail to deliver accurate translations because of inefficient / non-existing proofreading.

Proofreading involves analyzing the translated (finished) text for spelling errors, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, formatting, etc. Proofreading is as important as the process of translation itself. A well proofread translation ensures that the text is free of any error and adheres to the writing and reading conventions of the target language.

It is important to ensure beforehand that a translation service provider has a strong translation process in place, which also includes proofreading. It is desirable that they have qualified proofreaders in their team.

A proofreader usually checks for the following factors in a document:

  1. Spelling
  2. Tenses
  3. Sentence Structure
  4. Grammar
  5. Punctuation
  6. Word Usage
  7. Capitalization
  8. Correct Use of Abbreviations
  9. Consistency of Information
  10. Proper Formatting of Text
  11. Consistency of Typefaces
  12. Appropriateness of Terms Used

One can follow these general tips for proofreading successfully:

  • A translator should proofread his own translation twice, ensuring that the translated text matches with the original text in meaning and context. This helps to avoid errors that one tends to make regularly.
  • Reading out loud and slowly will often throw up errors that one might have missed otherwise.
  • It is always advisable to proofread at least 2 times and also have it referred to a colleague for another round of review.

A badly proofread document can only harm an otherwise great translation. It might even lead to sour business relationships. Though several software exist in the market to ensure accuracy in a document, human intervention ensures that all aspects of a translation are covered without any errors.

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Remember to proofread your translation work always.