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Monday, December 11, 2006

Editing Vs Proofreading What A Translator Should Know

Freelance translators have to wear several hats to perform their job well, some of the tasks have nothing to do with your knowledge of language; as in the case of listening to the client who is frustrated at a pressing deadline for the translation project.

Many times an agency for associate will ask you about taking proofreading or editing assignments in addition to translation. While the fee for these services may not be as much as translations, performing these tasks can increase your fluency and expertise. But these two tasks require different skills, some freelance translators can do both, others prefer one to the other:

A proofreader verifies that the text is true to the content from the source. This includes syntax, register and formatting. There is a set of proofreading symbols that are used to indicate errors or reference a suggestion. If you have a critical eye for detail and catch errors quickly, proofreading is a valuable skill that can add value to your services.

When you are editing, you are taking the text and re-writing it in a way that gives it a different perspective, while maintaining the integrity of the meaning of the content from the source. Editing may sound like a simple task however keep in mind that the continuity of the context of the subject has to be maintained for the length of the text.

In most cases, the good news is that most of these tasks are straight forward and can be done within a reasonable amount of time. On the down side, editing or proofreading a document that is poorly translated can easily turn into a time consuming exercise that results in lost profits for you.

If you cannot decide which of these services you want to offer to clients, work with another freelancer as a proofreader or editor to get a better feel for which one you do best.