Proofreading and text editing

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At least at one point in your life, you found yourself in a situation where while reading a translation of a book written by a foreign author, you came across an unidiomatic expression that just did not seem to fit the “genuine nature of the Croatian language”; or, even worse, you noticed orthographic errors that had a negative impact on your overall impression of the piece of literature in question.

Maybe you stopped using services of a company or a brand due to their poorly written advertisements or social media posts.

It is a common occurrence that a company using either social media or its own website as an advertising platform with a wish to raise either its own or its brand’s recognition has a poorly written overview of services that is littered with orthographic or spelling mistakes that eventually makes potential clients opt for rival brands or companies offering similar services. There is also a risk of their “insignificant” spelling mistakes on social media posts being shared and the company being publicly ridiculed, which usually leads to loss of existing clients. Companies or brands are wrong to believe that there is no need to pay for proofreading services, thinking that the odds of making an error in a text “of such short length” (usually consisting of several short sentences detailing services offered or contact information) are to say the least – scarce.

Proofreader specialized in a particular language should be a person who not only is well-acquainted with all governing principles of that language (the best choice would be a native speaker), but who is also trained in detecting and correcting orthographic, grammatical, lexical and other errors that tend to occur in specific types of texts. In addition, a proofreader should be familiar with different writing styles. Whether a text is a contract, professional paper or a novel, matters. For this reason, for example, the language of official documents strives toward unambiguity and clarity and the use of a pattern of regular repetitions, which is almost inadmissible when it comes to novels, which strive to draw on lexical richness that the language offers. A proofreader may also check the coherence and meaning of the text and warn you about possible irrationalities. This also obliges the proofreader – just as much as the translator – to possess sound knowledge of the subject with which he or she is engaged. If a proofreader is working with a professional paper, he or she must be familiar with terminology given that on certain occasions it is necessary to preserve a particular expression in the source language both for the sake of the profession and the target readers.

Proofreading is what it takes for a good translation to become an excellent translation. An experienced proofreader has an eye for detail and is capable of detecting what even top professional translators tend to overlook: minuscule inaccuracies such as typos or long-drawn-out sentences that fail to convey the meaning because of flawed verb-noun/subject-predicate agreement. A proofreader is every translator’s second pair of eyes, who helps the translated text unlock its full potential and clearly and faithfully convey the message of the source text, all in conformity with the governing principles and rules of the target language.

The task of text editing is to give your text an enhanced visual appearance that will attract readers not only by its content but also by its embellished layout. Once the writing, translation or editing phase have been completed, as well as proofreader’s revision, the text is once again reviewed by a text editor, which is followed by printing and delivering the text to the customer. A common occurrence in today’s texts, which are largely written using a computer, is an additional space accidently inserted between two words, which even though hardly noticeable in a Word document, is easily noticed on its hard copy version. It is a text editor’s task is to correct this type of mistakes.

It is always a good idea to add up to a work performed by an excellent translator by engaging a good proofreader, because it is the only way in which you can be completely sure that you will be provided with a top-quality translation service: translator’s excellent knowledge of the source and target language coupled with proofreader’s mastery of all rules and governing principles of the target language, guarantee client satisfaction.


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