10 Feb/15

Why It Is Important to Use Proofreaders

Let’s imagine you’ve had your boss’s materials for his business trip translated from English into German
(see our previous blog entry: What proofreading involves).

You’ve asked a German colleague in your office to proofread the new German materials. You’d probably be surprised at how many mistakes would be left in the final document. Why?

Because people not trained to proofread often do not have:

  • The eye for detail that translation proofreaders have
  • A detailed understanding of grammar and punctuation appropriate for professional texts
  • The ability to make effective linguistic choices (rewording literal translations, editing lengthy translations)

Also:

  • If the proofreader doesn’t understand the source text, there is no way to check that the original message has been correctly translated (this makes rewording and editing difficult, and both could potentially create new errors)

Have a go! Try finding the mistakes in the following:

Ex. 1 – Schedule for an international conference

At 10:00 a.m., Professor Adams from Nottingham University will give a lecture on cognitive behavioral therapy.

Ex. 2 – Business presentation

Introduction to the Marketing team

  • Meet the team
  • finding out what they do
  • Q&A session

Ex. 3 – Title of a legal document

Brown vs. Board of Education

When a proofreader checks a twenty-page legal document or fifty-page user manual for industrial equipment, it’s not easy to keep in mind all of the different style and linguistic conventions. A good quality translation won’t contain many errors, so it’s essential that the proofreader can stay focused and spot any that do occur.

At EVS Translations, we use in-house proofreaders who have a high level of competency in the source language and who are native speakers of the target language. They have access to style guides, glossaries and the latest translation software to make absolutely sure that:

  • Everything is accurately translated

  • The target text is error-free and finished to a professional standard

  • The target is correct in terms of format and general presentation

 ———–

Answers:

Ex 1.

The official name of the University is the “University of Nottingham”. (Also note: if the text were for a UK audience, the “a.m.” should be written as “am” and ‘behavioral’ as ‘behavioural’.)

Ex 2.

For translations into British English, only the first letter of the first word in a title should be capitalised. For the US, every word should be capitalised. In this example M is capitalised, but t is not. In the bullet points, the F should be a capital letter. Also, in terms of linguistic style, “finding” should be changed to “Find” to match the form of the verb above which is “Meet” and not “Meeting”.

Ex. 3

For UK and US English: Use “vs.” in non-legal contexts and “v.” in legal contexts. In legal contexts, the “v.” actually stands for “and” in civil proceedings, “against” in criminal proceedings and “versus” in the case of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Example in a chemical context: Tiotropium vs. LABA