Posted on

The role of proofreading in large translation projects – why is it worth it?

Your company is facing a challenge – translation of the entire knowledge base for a new e-learning platform, numerous pages of contracts with foreign partners or a new guidebook for customers regarding online analytics. Before you order translation of such a large project, the entire process needs to be planned carefully. Certainly, you should take into account a proofreading service. You will find out why in this article.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading covers a service of correcting text. You can come across this term in the description of translation agency services. Sometimes, it is used interchangeably with “editing” or “correcting” text. The first term applies to verification of text in terms of the content as well as formal and language aspects. The second term relates to stylistic and editorial adjustments. Proofreading is a more comprehensive term and it is associated with verifying text in terms of all of the above aspects.

In the case of translation, text verification requires the editor/proofreader to know the target language fluently; it is preferred that this service is provided by a native speaker. This will give you certainty that the translation to English, German, Russian etc., will offer the best quality.

Large translation project… What does it mean?

We have listed several examples at the beginning of this article. The size of the above-mentioned undertaking may be estimated by following these guidelines:

  • Number of pages to be translated – this is something your translator service provider will certainly ask about. On this basis, they will estimate the price of the translation and also the time required for it.
  • Deadlines – in the ideal world the order process would be stress-free. Unfortunately, we all have to follow certain deadlines and it may happen that instead of standard mode of order processing, you will have to use an express service because you will be in a rush. This will cost more.
  • Specialisation – a more difficult and specialised text to be translated will affect the price and deadline.
  • Number of translators – this may not directly apply to you if you order a translation from a translation agency (but if you cooperate with translators directly, this aspect will have to be taken into account). It will be important in terms of understanding the need for ordering a proofreading service. The more pages you have to be translated and the less time, the more translators will be involved into your project. It is not physically possible for one person to be able to fulfil such a challenge. The translation agency is responsible for meeting the deadline and the final quality of the text but keep in mind that several specialists may participate in such large projects.

Benefits of proofreading

You can ask yourself: “Why would I pay extra for this service if I have ordered the translation to be prepared by specialists and the final quality is the responsibility of the company that I signed a contract with?” This is specifically important when it comes to large project. There are several aspects that need to be taken into account:

  • Translation memory files and glossaries – if you did not provide such materials to the translators, which contain specified terminology regarding your industry, it may happen that the translator will use synonyms or other terms with the same meaning. In many cases, it will not necessarily mean it’s a mistake but it will make the text less consistent or clear in your specific case.
  • Stylistic differences – if several translators take part in a project, each of them may have a separate style of writing (e.g. they may use different forms of addressing the reader/recipient, which will be less or more formal, etc.). In such a case, the editor’s role will be to make the content consistent in terms of the style.
  • Language errors – they happen even to the best! An additional pair of eyes that verify the text will reduce the risk of error occurrence.
  • Formatting and layout – this does not only cover applying the same type and size of font in the entire document, but also making everything consistent, such as the sub-titles, chapter names, footers or bibliography.

To conclude, the bigger the translation project you wish to order, the more aspects should be taken into account when planning this process. Hence, before you reject the proofreading service, calculate whether such “savings” will be profitable if any errors occur.

Proofreading services? Thousands of translators are ready to help you.