10 May /12

Editing vs proofreading

editing, proofreading, translationsEditing and proofreading are two different elements of the revision process and they concentrate on different aspects and use different techniques.

Editing is the process of examining a text with the intention of improving the flow and quality of writing. In other words, the process of checking and improving the copywriting of a document. This process concentrates less on the form and more on the terminology.

Editors check for contextual mistakes and inconsistence and it is the editor’s job to verify facts and make sure that the correct terminology was used.

This is usually achieved by researching in specialized dictionaries and industry and corporate terminology glossaries as well as on the websites of relevant company, organizations or institutions.

The process of editing is accompanied by recommended corrections.

In their work, editors can – if necessary – rewrite whole paragraphs and change the style of the translation.

The normal practice is that when it comes to terminology and factual changes, that editors do not implement the changes themselves, but send their comments and recommended corrections to the translator or translators of the original document and ask the translators to decide on and apply any or all of the recommended changes.

It is typically understood that a document which has been edited still needs to be proofread, as editing and proofreading are truly not the same.

Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and should start only after all the editing revisions have been completed.

Proofreading implies checking a translated document against the original and making sure that everything is correct.

Proofreading is the process of examining a text and looking for spelling, grammar, syntax and punctuation errors, typos and other unintended mistakes.

The context, terminology and facts are quite irrelevant here, as the job focuses on the correctness of the text.

Though proofreaders may make comments and suggest corrections that refer to the content as well. Or may have questions related to the content.  Proofreaders do not apply any such changes but instead return the document to the editor along with their recommendations and questions.

The major difference in proofreading vs. editing is that editing is mainly concerned with contextual and factual changes, all potential style and content questions are flagged and taken care of by editors,  while proofreading solely focuses on grammar, style, punctuation and spelling corrections and proofreaders are responsible for a flawless final product.

Professional editing and proofreading services combined together ensure the quality of the translation output for the end users.