At the recent trade fair in Brno we met with several representatives of companies from various fields of business and were surprised to hear that the discussion focused on one common subject, namely, mistakes in the orthography, grammar, or syntax in incoming written texts. Most corporate managers and directors admitted that writing business correspondence is the weakest area of their skills.
Many supplier companies whose parent company is based abroad have their promotional materials and technical manuals translated by the employees of their local subsidiaries for financial and terminological reasons. The workers in the individual branches work with the company’s products on a daily basis, are familiar with the portfolio their company offers, and know the technical specifics of the products. Usually, their translations into their native language correspond to the original document, mainly in the sense of understanding specific vocabulary.
The translation is fine, but is that all that matters?
Although the translation is fine, it should undergo editing by a skillful writer, i.e., proof-reader. Reading every translation afterwards is a normal practice with every translator, but proof-reader’s work is an entirely different story.
The proof-reader should be able to tell you what your text needs or is lacking. After correcting the typos and orthographic mistakes, he straightens out the syntax and suggests a more comprehensible formulation of “entangled” sentences.
If you wish, the proof-reader can also check the accuracy of the translation by comparing with the original document or make graphic adjustments in the text.
Before you start to cooperate with a proof-reader, ask him what is able to check and correct. A capable proof-reader may do wonders with your text. It is only up to you how thoroughly you want to have your document edited.
What about the price of proof-reading?
If you have opted for proof-reading but want to get someone inexpensive, you can bet that the quality of the resulting text will match the price you will pay. Countless ads circulating on the Internet indicate that many good native speakers assume that proof-reading is easy. However, their language proficiency or education may not meet the necessary requirements for
a proofreader. It is not easy to untangle the multitude of offers and make a good choice.
Let us give you just one good advice.
Use your common sense – would you entrust you accounting agenda to someone who claims to be able to work with
a calculator? It is the same with editing and proof-reading.
Entrust you corporate “treasure” and the uniqueness and future of your products or services to professionals whose work will ensure improvement of the quality of your texts.