Essentials of Proofreading Translations

proofreading translation
proofreading translation

Proofreading is an integral part of writing and editing. If we talk about the process of delivering professional translations, the quality of the translated material depends on the vigilance and skills of the editor and proofreader. There are some crucial elements that draw the line between general practices of proofreading and proofreading for translated documents. In translated materials, proofreading is more than just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. 

Additionally, proofreaders and editors need to be fairly proficient in the target language as well as in the source language. Another important aspect is to know that proofreading is an essential part of the process of editing. However, professional editing service providers bridge the gap by facilitating the overall process of editing and proofreading. 

How to Draw a Line between Editing and Proofreading?

With respect to localized translations, editing, and proofreading are the prerequisites of the overall process of delivering quality translated materials. However, in the case of a document translation, these two components (editing and proofreading come into play at different times. When the task of a professional translator is completed, the editing work begins. 

The editor will evaluate whether the language of the document is according to the source document’s requirements. Then by considering the word choice, structure, and sentence of the documents, the editor further evaluates the translated documents. Moreover, it is up to the editor to make the translations up to the mark. 

After the magic of the editor is completed, the work of a proofreader comes into play. While proofreading a piece, a professional proofreader looks for any factual, figurative, and grammatical errors.

Elite Editing and Proofreading Practices

Once again it is important to remember that proofreading and proofreading for translations are two different things by stretch of an editor’s imagination. Moreover, editing and proofreading is a technical process. When representing a brand, business, or company to a multilingual audience and markets. It is always better to engage the professional editing services of a well-reputed language service provider. Additionally, if the translation project is lengthy, multiple translators can make the process less time-intensive. 

Essential Step Before the Final Review

When the document translation is provided to the editorial staff, initially they review the draft and ensure the information is well-structured. Moreover, at this stage, an editor will check that the document meets the requirements of the client as well as is aligned with the industry preferences of the target market. In addition, the editor will compare the translated material with the provided brief. And if there are any major discrepancies then immediately send the document back to the relevant translators. 

Evaluation of the Text and Sentence Structure

After the initial review, the editor will look for any discrepancies in the body of the translated material. Furthermore, the editor ensures that the translations have a relevant and strong introduction and conclusion based on the type of translation. Moreover, the editing staff also checks and maintains cohesion, and relevance to the niche, industry, and target culture and norms.

Once the editing work is completed, the proofreading starts. In most cases, a professional proofreader will look for any typos and mistakes that the editor might have missed. Furthermore, a proofreader also gave the documents a final touch and made them according to the requirements of the source file. 

Prioritize Distraction Free Environment 

The factor may feel obvious but the importance of a calm and soothing environment is very crucial and relevant as far as the work of proofreading is concerned. Furthermore, proofreaders not only have to look for the specific errors that might have been overlooked by the editor but also have to ensure the linguistic and cultural preferences of the target language and region.

Slow The Process and Take Breaks if necessary

It is fine to stretch the limits but the respect of personal attention span must be on top of the priorities of a proofreader. Take regular breaks after 20 or 30 minutes and try to look at a distant green object for 20 seconds. This activity will refresh your brain and reload the attention span for new error findings. 

Use Other Methods than Reading 

Reading out loud is the most underrated skill for all writers especially for the proofreaders. You can also seek assistance from the text-to-speech tools. 

Do not Ignore the Importance of Final Review

There is nothing more productive than a fresh brain. Translation proofreaders not only have to look for linguistic and grammatical mistakes but also keep up with the requirements of the source file and the preferences of the target language. So a few hours gap between the initial review and the final proofreading can make a huge difference but the deadline is a very relevant factor. If the project is not tight on delivery, the gap is very beneficial for the quality of the document translation

A New Set of Eyes Never Disappoint

No matter how much translators, proofreaders, and editors hate this factor, the truth is, that a new set of eyes always brings a different perspective. That is why to ensure the quality of the final draft you can go a little extra mile by taking the perspective of your professional peer. 


All in all the professional practice of translated proofreading is a very technical and responsible task. Proofreaders are responsible for any errors, typos, and inconsistencies in the translated document. We have briefly discussed some essential steps to ensure the quality of the translated documents and the differences between the workflow of editors and proofreaders.

Sanket Goyal

Sanket has been in digital marketing for 8 years. He has worked with various MNCs and brands, helping them grow their online presence.

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