Proofreading translations

Proofreading translations

To proofread a translation

As said in another article, the last stage a translation goes through before it is handed over to the client is the revision. Translation proofreading is the process of checking the text and harmonising the terminology used throughout the document so that it is correct and consistent.

Our preferred method is to deliver the text in chunks, on different days. This way, by the time the deadline for the last part is reached, the first parts are ready.

Who proofreads translations?

Revision can be done by the translator of the document (in which case it is called self-revision). It can also be done by a proofreader – a person who has never seen the text before. Someone other than the translator does the revision if it was agreed upon in the beginning that the company will revise the text or if the translator does not have time for self-revision.

Revision vs. self-revision

Self-revision can allow undesirable terms or wording to slip in, because the translator’s eye is so accustomed to the work they have done for days or weeks at a time. But the reviser comes with a fresh perspective.

It often happens that some formulations may sound good in Romanian and vice versa to the translator familiarized with the foreign language version, although they would not sound as good to the reader of a single language version. Seeing the text for the first time makes it easier for the proofreader to spot errors and inappropriate wording.

List of key terms essential for proofreading a translation

For consistency, to ensure that a draft translated by several translators uses the same vocabulary, the proofreader makes a list of keywords. If they come across terms other than those selected, they replace them with the correct or chosen terms. For coordination, such a glossary of specific terms can be delivered in advance by the project coordinator or even by the client and given to all translators at the beginning, or it can be used at the end.

What does it mean to be a proofreader?

The work of the proofreader is quite hard and rigorous. It requires a high level of attention and concentration. Without doubt, they must have a very good knowledge of the grammar of the two languages and have an elaborate and specialized vocabulary in the various fields of translation. Patience in analyzing the text is essential for correcting mistakes and linguistic and semantic blending means improving the quality of the whole document.

The translator and the proofreader

As is often the case between editors and writers, translators sometimes get annoyed by the proofreader’s corrections and notes. However, the professional relationship between them contributes over time to the development of the translator’s skills and the improvement of their working method.

It should be noted that there is no subordination relationship between the two. They could always swap roles and correct each other’s translations. In reality, the collaboration between the translator and the proofreader is based on teamwork, an essential part of the way a company works, bringing together under one roof the work of several translators, coordinators and proofreaders.


In conclusion, the quality of services on the translation market can only benefit from the work of proofreaders. Translators collaborate better as a team and the accuracy of translations is better. The price may be a little higher when working with a proofreader, but it is worth paying for the added value and professionalism.

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