To proofread or not to proofread

The importance of independent proofreading

The translation industry, as every other industry, has its jargon – terminology that is commonly used by professionals within the translation field and at the same time is misused or misunderstood by everyone else outside of professional translation circles.


The most common mistake we hear is clients asking for face to face translation – usually when people say that, they mean interpreting. Translation is a term related to written texts only; whereas, interpreting is associated with the spoken language. There are of course different types of interpreting:


  • Ad hoc (sometimes called consecutive) interpreting is usually used for small meetings where there is time for the interpreter to interpret what is being said.


  • Simultaneous interpreting is used for large conferences where there are several languages required and the presenters don’t have the luxury to stop and wait for the interpreters to convey the message. In this case interpreters sit in sound-proof booths with headphones on and listen to the speaker, and at the same time they interpret and speak to the foreign speaking delegates in the audience through microphones.


  • Telephone interpreting is, as the name suggests, all done via telephone, so the interpreters aren’t physically present in the room.


There are many other terms commonly used, such as source and target languages, with source language being the original language and target being the language translated into.


And, there is proofreading and independent proofreading.


At Global LTS we recommend to our clients that all texts which will be available in the public domain, i.e. will represent the brand’s external image, should be independently proofread.


What we mean by this is that there will be two translators working on the text.


The first translator will perform the initial translation, and the second translator, who is equally as experienced as the first, will review the entire document word for word.


At this stage our clients ask why should they need independent proofreading, aren’t the original translators proofreading their work?


Yes, professional translators do proofread their own work.


They have a checklist of things they double-check including spelling, grammar, numbers and dates, etc.


However, translation is a very subjective task; there are many ways of correctly translating a document.


Therefore, a single document translated by two different translators will never be exactly the same.


Which brings us to the benefits of independent proofreading – having two professional translators working on the text ensures that the translated text is aligned with the tone and voice of the source text; it ensures that the terminology used sits well within the context of the entire document and it also adds an additional layer of quality assurance to the project.



For more information on translation services provided by us please visit our website, and as always, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you wish to discuss any specific projects…

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