The difference between revision and proofreading

Translation includes revision and proofreading in particular. At Dialinguo, we have noticed that the difference between revision and proofreading is not obvious to everyone.

As part of translation, we revise a text against the source text to ensure we keep the meaning. Proofreading means just correcting the translated text without interfering in its meaning. These two steps determine the quality of the work performed.

At Dialinguo, we not only make a distinction between correction and proofreading, we perform them in the correct order. These two steps can, in fact, be performed one after the other and by different people even. These two translation professionals – the reviser and the proofreader – have different skill sets and hence different roles within the translation agency.

The role of revision in translation

Revising a document involves checking the style and the language. Unlike proofreading, we not only correct spelling and grammar errors, we improve the text as a whole. Here, we take into consideration the meaning for the end reader and this is at the heart of our approach to translation.

The Dialinguo team looks particularly at rewording long and complex sentences, and changing any informal, repetitive or awkward passages. In some cases, we carry out research to supplement paragraphs and assist understanding.

The reviser intervenes in the style of the text to be translated so as to express the author’s ideas in the best possible way. In addition, the reviser also systematically keeps the meaning of the original text in their head so that they can communicate it as faithfully as possible to the end reader.

Proofreading – typos in our sights

Proofreading, on the other hand, means double-checking a translation’s spelling, grammar, and typography. It is the last stage in a translation project before a file is published or goes to press. To produce a finished text which is free of any omissions, it is checked as a rule by two pairs of eyes, that is, two translators reread the text in turn.

During the proofreading phase, we check for the following points with a fine-tooth comb:

  • spelling mistakes,
  • grammatical errors,
  • punctuation,
  • inconsistent spellings (e.g. analyze/analyse),
  • typography errors (quotation marks, apostrophes, hyphens and dashes, indentations, etc.).

The proofreader or corrector applies a typography style guide to achieve a professional standard. They are familiar with the spelling, grammar and typographical rules of a language and keep a careful eye out for any mistakes or typing errors in the text. Their role is vital in the translation project, because not only the credibility of the translation agency rests on it, but that of their client too.

Dialinguo is able to offer revision and proofreading either alongside your translation or as a separate activity.

Do you have a translation project ? Contact us now to discuss the specific details.