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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Scope of Proofreading

I find that there is always some confusion over the role of the proofreader. Here are some guidelines to clarify this issue.

Translation is, in every case, a subjective exercise. Individuals will interpret the
language they are working with differently, according to: their experience and interest in the subject of the text, preferred style of writing, dialect, educational background and many other factors. There will be no definitive version of any one text, however the content is undisputable.

Translation is an art, not a science- do you agree?

The role of the proofreader is to check for:
· Accuracy in the language used to convey meaning, in the context of the text (whether it is a legal document, public information leaflet, or personal letter)
· Typing and punctuation errors
· Key information, such as names, dates and addresses
· Translation of the full text – for instance, the translator may have missed a paragraph or page by mistake.

In the event of the proofreader identifying a mistake, he/she needs to clearly state this in a different font colour within the document, taking care not to erase any text from the original translation. The comment and if appropriate, alternative word or phrase of translation, will then be fed-back to the translator. In most cases the suggested changes will be accepted by the original translator, but in the event of a dispute (for instance over a disagreement regarding the meaning of a word or phrase) the issue will be negotiated until all parties can agree on the final translation.



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