A guide to proofreading text for translation

When writing for translation, ensure sure you have a good knowledge of punctuation and grammar. If not, give it to a friend or colleague with excellent written skills, or better still, to a professional copy writer. Many people choose to engage a professional for this important task not only because of copy writers’ ability to write well, but also because it is hard to write about yourself, your company or services you provide.

And even if your brochure, media release or website text is written well, you may not be able to see your own errors, so it is always best to get a second opinion and a fresh pair of eyes to look at what you have written. This person should read your text from the point of view of your prospective customer, ensuring all the concepts contained in it are clear and able to be easily understood.

If you feel that you can proofread your own text, however, or just don’t know of anyone who can help, here are some tips on how to make the process more… well, foolproof!

  1. Avoid distractions. Find a quiet spot to do it.
  2. Take frequent breaks so that you don’t lose concentration.
  3. Read the text out loud as this may help you to spot bad grammar.
  4. Watch out for inconsistencies in style and formatting, such as font type or size.
  5. Read a line at a time using a ruler to guide you without skimming the text.
  6. Always do a final proofreading on the hard copy. Have you noticed how some typos, grammatical and spelling errors can only be picked up when printed? It is much harder to proofread on the screen.
  7. Leave the text for a few hours or a day, as you will be able to gain a fresh perspective on what you have written.
  8. Get another person to do a final proof of your own work.