How to better your proofreading technique

Translators and technical writers are supposed to write perfect texts in terms of linguistics, cultural adaptation and graphical norms. In any case, it is always possible to encounter a few mistakes. Be sure to thoroughly proofread the text to ensure your work is beyond reproach before it can be delivered. This part of the process is necessary to check that the final product is understandable, fluent and in compliance with the target audience. Below are a few pieces of advice which can prove useful to proofreading.


The goal of a proofreader is to spot mistakes which remained unnoticed in the text. To do so, the ability to focus is strongly required : you have to get rid of distractions of any kind -cellphone, radio, etc.- and to make sure you feel rested. Otherwise, fatigue can lead to a lack in focus. It is also preferable not to proofread your own work. It is easier for us to notice the mistakes others make compared to our own.

One should also read the text out loud to correct any rhythm issues before identifying grammatical or spelling mistakes.

Automated spellcheckers, no matter how useful of a tool they are, are not always 100 % accurate. One way to spot mistakes is to proofread the text starting from the end. It might seem illogical, but this technique allows for the eyes to focus on each and every word instead of focusing on long sentences. That way, our brain does not automatically correct mistakes according to their context -like it usually does when reading chronologically- but it is tricked into finding spelling mistakes and typos.

There are traps specifics to each language that the proofreader needs to pay attention to, such as homonyms for example. It is rather easy to confuse words which are spelled or pronounced the same way, even if they have different meanings.

Finally, numbers can also get in the way of proofreading if they aren’t written correctly. Proofreaders need to pay close attention to numbers whether they are working on a translation or a text written by a technical writer. If a number seems wrong, proofreaders need to rely on their common sense or do a quick research to correct any mistakes.

Francesca Laganella

Translated by Céline ECHILLEY

Five Tips to Optimize the Quality of Your Translation

Translators are often under pressure to provide a translation in the shortest possible time. The problem lies in the quality of a translation that is delivered within too tight a deadline. When you want to have your website translated, it is essential to think about the quality of your content whatever the language may be. To deal with this problem, here are five tips to make your content easier to translate.


Think Globally

If you know ahead of time that among the projects you are going to translate one will be localized, it is best to translate while keeping localization in mind. Indeed, if you choose to avoid images with embedded text, use word-processing software, write in a concise and precise manner, your content will be much easier and quicker to translate, which will help you save money on translation.

Choose the Right Translators

Obviously, the more efficient the translators, the better the translation will be. Firstly, a translator must ALWAYS translate into their native language for a truly professional and natural result, with the least possible mistakes. It goes without saying that the more experienced the translator is, the better the result of their translation. However, if you should work with an inexperienced translator, make sure that they are familiar with the terminology they will work with.

Create a Glossary

If you provide your translator/translation agency with a glossary, it will considerably reduce the time spent working with them and the translation process will be more efficient. In addition, you will be sure that the technical terms used are correct.

Use Translation Memories

Translation memories save translators time by automatically translating recurring and domain-specific terms. The more you feed the translation memories, the more efficient they are. Moreover, they help you save time and money on translations, regardless of the translator using them.

Proofreading and Quality Assurance Control

Once the work is complete, the translation goes through a proofreading and quality assurance process that allows the translator to verify whether the terms have been properly used in the right context. Some terms may appear out of context in the translation memories and their translation may, therefore, vary according to the sentence in which they are used.

Camille Rigaud

Translated by Sonia Ahamada

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