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Proofreading a translation

By Katie Reed | February 2, 2023 | Blog Language Facts Services - Translation Translation Tips

If you’re creating a new document, whatever the industry sector, a second pair of eyes can be worth its weight in gold. In the translation industry, proofreading can be an equally important tool to ensure the quality and accuracy of your translations and is a useful resource. For example, you might consider proofreading a translation when you are trying out a new translator or agency or for reassurance as to the quality of a colleague’s work.

In this blog, we look at some of the benefits of proofreading a translation and engaging a good professional proofreader.

Quality control

It goes without saying, but quality is the main reason for proofreading a translation. Whether have your translations checked routinely or only do it sporadically, quality checks will give you the confidence that your translations are accurate and reliable.

Right or wrong?

You would assume that the translation you have received is fundamentally accurate, but what happens if it’s not? The first and most important role of a proofreader is to check that the translation says the same as the original text. If, for example, you’re asking if a patient would administer their own medication but the translation asks if they would inject it, you are likely to get very different answers. The translator should, but the proofreader will spare you this worry.

Spelling checks

Spelling mistakes and typos in a document stand out like a sore thumb and indicate a lack of attention to detail. A native speaker proofreading your document will pick up on these errors and deliver confidence to your audience. For example, bark is a real word but would you want to ask respondents where they bark their car?

Grammar checks

Flawless grammar is rarely noticed but bad grammar most definitely is. Whilst a sentence may be understandable, awkward grammar can again leave a poor impression of the document or even skewing understanding. In market research surveys, for example, where every nuance counts, proofreading a translation could improve results and consistency across markets.

Style checks

Usually, when proofreading, style is not the main focus. However, if you’re translating concepts where the nuance of your statements is essential, it’s important that the translation is reviewed by a second pair of eyes. A second opinion in this instance can help to ensure the right meaning is conveyed and in a way that is stylistically appropriate.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the way you talk to different audiences or age groups can vary greatly. Having an experienced proofreader review your text will give you extra peace of mind that all target markets are taken into account.


Our proofreading service

The Language Factory offers a best-in-class translation proofreading service. You can be confident that an expert mother-tongue translator has reviewed every element of your project, enabling you to launch your proofread translation with confidence.

With over 30 years of experience providing high-quality, specialist translation services, we work across a range of sectors, from market research to healthcare, marketing to travel and HR.

Contact us today to learn more about how our proofreading services can help your translation projects.

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