Important as it is nowadays in a rapidly changing globalized world, translation has come to be one of the most significant means of communication and execution of business around the globe. Businesses and commerce are becoming more and more dependent on its services for business negotiations, drawing up of contracts, creation of partnerships, localization of manuals, or for the simple reason of marketing. With this in mind, translation undergoes an ever growing list of strict rules, principles and guidelines, to guarantee the delivery of error free professional documents. Here emerges the importance of editing and proofreading of translated files.
After translation, a translator, usually, edits then proofreads his translated file, yet it is still important to have another eye on the file. As many translators mix concepts of the two words together and even use the two words interchangeably, we’re going to highlight, for the convenience of all, the difference between editing and proofreading to help translators understand the work techniques entailed in each process. Editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Although, both demand close and careful reading, they focus on different aspects of the translated file and employ different techniques.
To elaborate the role of editing, we can say that it is everything that you do upon finishing your draft translation. You reread your translated draft to see, for example, whether it is consistent and well-organized, accurate in its expression of ideas, using smooth transitions between paragraphs, employing correct terms and terminology, applying correct pronoun references, and complying with tone of the source document. Finally, you check the document for readability, ease of comprehension, and professional style in addition to minor restructuring and proofreading.
It is therefore clear that editing should cover several levels of the document ranging from the content, to the overall structure, the structure within each paragraph, clarity, style, and citations.
Covering all the above levels in editing, the document is now ready for proofreading which is the final stage of the editing process focusing on surface errors such as misspelling, grammar and punctuation besides minor structural, typographical and formatting errors. However, it is very important to point out that editing and proofreading processes should be treated as two separate processes. For example, when you edit a draft, you don’t have to bother about punctuation, grammar or spelling in order to have your full focus on the more important task of developing your ideas and accurately expressing them in a logical, systematic and consistent manner.
Among the most successful strategies adopted in proofreading process are; reading the whole text thoroughly, loudly and slowly, separating the text into individual sentences to facilitate the discovery of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, relying on authoritative dictionaries for spelling and grammar checkers, proofing one kind of error at a time, highlighting punctuation marks to check their correctness in context with the whole document.
By the time, your proofreading becomes more efficient as you develop and practice more logical and systematic strategies. You will learn to quickly identify an error and find practical techniques for correction.
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