The translation industry has always had three pillars when it comes to quality assurance: proofreading, language review, and post-editing. However, for businesses, it can be challenging to understand the differences and what to choose when looking to quality assure their text or translation. Therefore, we want to clarify these different concepts to help you get a better understanding of the subject and ultimately choose the right process for your needs.
Proofreading is the most basic form of text review. It often occurs as the final step before publishing or handing over. The main task of proofreaders is to detect and correct superficial errors such as spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, punctuation, and inconsistencies in formatting and typography. It is a fine-tuning, not a restructuring of the text. The aim of proofreading is to ensure that the text is technically correct and free from distractions that errors can cause.
Language editing goes a step further than proofreading. This process involves a thorough review of the text to improve the flow and comprehensibility of the language. The language editor focuses not only on grammar and spelling but also on stylistic aspects such as tone, clarity, and linguistic consistency. It may also include reviewing how well the text adheres to specific linguistic norms and conventions. The goal of language editing is to make the text more readable and appealing to the target audience.
Post-editing is a more comprehensive processing of the text and is often used in conjunction with translations. Here, not only linguistic errors are adjusted, but also cultural adaptations are made for the text to resonate with a specific target group. The post-editor may restructure sentences, change expressions, and even alter the content to ensure that it is relevant and appropriate in the target culture. Post-editing requires a deeper understanding of both the source and target languages as well as the culture.
While proofreading, language editing, and post-editing all serve to improve a text or translation, they are distinct processes with different focuses and depths. Proofreading is about correcting minor errors, language editing aims to enhance the overall quality of the material, and post-editing adapts the material to a new cultural and linguistic context.
At Comactiva, we have chosen to further clarify the processes for quality assurance and have packaged services according to different types of needs.
We have three standing services that always involve at least one of the above-mentioned processes: