What You Need to Know About Editing

Editing or reviewing is a step to check the translated target material for errors in content, style, and, often, format. Editors are native speakers of the target language. They use the source material as reference and they thoroughly review the target material to make sure that

► there are no spelling and punctuation errors;

► the translation is complete and no parts
have been omitted;

► the correct terminology has been used;

► the material is consistent in style and logic;

► the register is suitable for its intended purpose and audience.

Editing is a distinct skill and a good translator is not necessarily a good editor. Conflicts may arise when less skilled editors change target documents according to their own preferences rather than adhering to editing guidelines such as the client’s “house style.” Another problem arises if some clients understand “proofreading” to include all the steps of editing and to be payable only at a proofreading rate. For non-agency clients, I will automatically quote all the necessary post-translation steps.

In cases of requests for editing of third-party translations, I caution that editing can turn a good translation into a very good one, but not a bad translation into a good one. It’s often smarter to re-translate the material.

There are other services I’m offering:

  • Translation of written material, websites, and software from English into German.
  • Subtitling of films and videos in German. Contact me about details of this special service.
  • Websites for individuals and small businesses.