Translation, editing, and proofreading (TEP) are the main stages of the translation process. These three consecutive steps often ensure the best translation quality.
Editing is the phase that follows translation. Editors check the target-language content against the original, and ensure that the message from the source text delivers the intended idea accurately, including wording, clarity, structure, terminology, register. After this bilingual check, they make sure that the paragraphs read smoothly and are clear.
To adjust vocabulary and sentences to fit readers’ needs, editors need to be able to imagine the readers clearly:
- Is the text for professionals in the field or for laypeople?
- What is the level of the target audience?
- Are the readers native speakers?
- Where will the text appear (for example, on a mobile app, in a newspaper, on a sign-board, or in presentation slides)?
Proofreaders work only with the target text.
They check that the translation does not have any spelling, syntax, grammar, punctuation, and consistency.
These specialists also review typographical and layout features, such as style of headings and paragraphs.
Misspellings and typos might seem minor and unimportant, but they can make a negative impression and even affect the meaning.
Native speakers usually do not make idiomatic or syntactical mistakes. But if proofreaders are new to a field, they can have problems with specific phraseology
Correct punctuation is a vital component of a successful translation project. Punctuation rules differ between languages, so translators may inadvertently use commas, periods, or quotation marks incorrectly. Proofreaders have to pay special attention to small details, such as the different lengths of a dash and a hyphen.
Consistent terminology and style need special attention, especially if several translators are working on one project. Some organizations even prepare style and terminology guides. These documents give instructions on spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, numerals, acronyms, quotations, and much more.
Editors and proofreaders can use technology for their work. Some tools are made to be used by the public (Google search, online glossaries or bilingual databases) while others are developed for professionals.
Professional translation tools – e.g., translation memory and translation quality-assurance software – can help translators, editors, and proofreaders. Translation QA tools can spot the inconsistent translation of terms, and untranslated passages. They can also find some proofreading errors, including checking paired punctuation marks (parentheses and quotation marks), the correct transcription of numbers, etc. Using these tools during the quality-control phase may support linguists to catch formatting errors that the human eye may miss. However, software is never a complete substitute for the skill of professional editors and proofreaders.
The TEP service offered by Content Translations is a complex service that we have set as a basic approach in our work. For each large-scale project, we form a team of translators and editors with expertise in the field, coordinated by the project manager.
Of course, this service requires the necessary technical time and is associated with additional costs, but guarantees uncompromising quality of the final product.
What is your experience with TEP? Do you prefer to follow this procedure or stick to the concept of “good enough” translation quality? What does “high-quality translation” mean for you?
If you do not want compromises regarding the quality of the translation of your documentation, contact us. We, with our team of experienced and highly qualified specialists in the field of translation are at your disposal.
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