Proofreading is one of the major steps in translation. It is a stage where minor errors are identified and corrected so as to mke the translation accurate
The one big doubt we normally experience about any piece of writing meant for presentation that we have not done ourselves is whether it is accurate enough. This doubt inflicts on us and worsens if it’s a translation case, until we receive a positive response from the writing’s audience. But with my experience with translation services, I can confidently say that errors can be totally manageable through professional proof reading and so no need to worry.
Proofreading can be defined as a reading exercise meant to mark errors in a print out.
A proof is a trial impression, as of composed type, taken to correct errors and make alterations. It is one of a number of early and superior impressions taken before the printing of the ordinary issue. Dictionary.com
Because in translation no error is minor, proofreading is not done by a person who simply understands the language and knows how to read but rather a person with skill, experience, care and judgment. Some of the necessary steps of proofreading I have observed translation agencies do are;
- Preparation for proofreading
Rest for some minutes after writing to freshen up the mind for proof reading.Eliminate the redundant words before correcting the mistakes.First correct mistakes concerning the context then the other mistakes later.
- What they look for in proofreading
This work is normally carried out by professional proofreaders though professional translators may intervene for good reasons. The errors to look for in proofreading would take an entire article because they vary with the subject matter, type of document and its standard template but the following are general the general issues.
To check spellingEliminate informal or unclear word, column and page break at the beginning paragraph and at the end paragraph.Review the need for changes in the entire text because changing only one word can change the entire phraseology.Identify necessary changes and mark the proof using the approved method.To ensure consistence in writing style, typography, layout and contentWhether the table of Table of contents corresponds with the title, headings, numbering, and appendices.Check that content looks proper and is rationally arranged.Check page numberingand page heading.Ensure or place in cross-referenceswhere necessary.Check that illustrations, captions and labels match correctly and with the text before they go public.To rationalize or query conflicting instructions between the proofreader and the author
- How proofreading is carried out
The procedure of proofreading also differs with the translation agencies. However the following procedure cuts through;
Readout loudlyMark errors from a print out not a desktopCheck out for each error separately.End with spelling check. This is done using a computer spelling checker or reading the text backwardsDouble check. Hand in the proof to the neighbor even if they are not professional proof readers but to help identify simple mistakesUse other proofreading tools for perfection
However to prove that your document has been proof read by the translation agency, you may still consult a writing center instructor for guidance. There are also classes at writing centers that one can attend to learn how to do personal proofreading.