How to Proofread for Accurate Translations

proofreading translations

Prior to releasing, publishing or disseminating your content, it’s important to proofread your work and review the requirements.  If your content will be translated into another language by another party, the translator must understand and adhere to the requirements for the translation, as some organizations, individuals, cultures and nationalities may have their own specific expectations and requirements for how communication should be organized and formatted.  Some examples are listed below.

  • If you are submitting a book outline to an international or foreign publishing house for evaluation, the publisher might have specific submission and stylistic guidelines.
  • If you are mailing documents to an international address, you may need to follow certain business letter and envelope formatting guidelines.  You might even need to complete certain forms to meet the customs requirements of a particular country.
  • If you are submitting a brochure that has been translated into another language to a commercial printer, you should request a proofed copy from the printer before it goes to the press.  The proofed copy should be reviewed by the translator to ensure that no unexpected font or formatting problems have slipped in.
  • If you are submitting an academic paper to a research journal, you need to follow the journal’s own style guidelines and submission procedures.  Also prepare the necessary bibliography.

Regardless of the final form that your document takes, you should proofread your own work before submitting it to a translator.  Once the translation is complete, you should also have the translation proofed to ensure that the translation is complete and that the formatting is closely maintained.  This formal check for errors, such as spelling, grammar and formatting, gives you the opportunity to review the work to ensure that the document is free of mistakes that might prove costly and embarrassing.

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