Most people tend to underestimate the significant difference between proofreading and editing texts. They also tend to underestimate the emportance of having their texts reviewed.
After reading the following information about these services, you’ll know which one is the right choice for your project. However, in case you are still unceratin, I’d be delighted to give you advise on which to choose. Please send me a message either by email (email@example.com) or by using the contact form. Please attach the text(s) to be edited (preferably in Word format and not a PDF scan) with the required languages and other relevant information about your project. Usually, I answer emails within one hour within business hours
When proofreading, I’m paying attention to grammatical and orthographical mistakes. Common mistakes are double spaces, or, if necessary, missing non-breaking spaces (e. g. between numbers and units, percentage, currency…), typos, comma, punctuation, etc.
I offer this service for both translations and self-written texts in the three languages English, Spanish and German. It is not necessary to have deep knowledge about cultural and linguistical characterestics, because the changes I would make on the text are only “superficial”. I do have to have knowledge of my languages, obviously, but for this kind of service they don’t have to be very comprehensive.
However, it wise to not underestimate the importance of proofreading. It happened to all of us that we were browsing a website, for example, and spotting only one tiny orthographical mistakes immediately left a negative impact. Not to speak of CV – exactly. In my opinion, many bloggers underestimate it as well. They tend to think that because they are writing blogs, which is more personal and comparable of the linguistic quality of social media, it is not as important to produce high-quality texts – which is quite contradictory to their claim that you have to write high-quality texts. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes see even very popular blogs that make me feel like crying.
So, what’s the difference now compared to proofreading? I have to edit the text a lot more. Please note that before sending me an order, you have to backcheck with the translator, if possible, whether I’m allowed to edit their translation. Every translator has a different, personal style and, additionally, a copyright on their translation! If this issue has been solved, I do the following:
Not only do I correct mistakes as mentioned above, but I also rephrase entire sentences. This is often the case when editing marketing or travelling texts. However, I also offer this service for those who have written their own texts, for example manuscripts, website content, blogs, articles, etc. If you don’t want me to rephrase entire sentences, I can “simply” pay attention to repetition of words, simplifying or prolonging sentences, etc.
It really depends on the type of text, though. Marketing texts or books should be fluent and appealing, with hardly any word repetitions, with nice beginnings, etc. This is in stark contrast to manuals or instructions. You cannot believe how many times customers asked me to shorten or simplify German sentences, because, you know, long, complicated, you name it.
I offer this service only for translations from English or Spanish into German, and for self-written texts only in German. The reason for this decision is that editing is not as “superficial” as proofreading. I have to have deep knowledge of my target market and this is only possible by living in the corresponding country. Since I’m living and working in Germany, I cannot guruantee you the same quality for, say, the British market.
Do I even need any of these services?
Yes, yes and again – yes. Just in case I haven’t stressed it enough so far: Reviewing your text is really important. Just think about it: You published a book on Amazon and you receive negative customer reviews about the amount of typos and comma mistakes in your book. That doesn’t feel very nice, does it? And if you’ve ever read Fifty Shades of Grey: Please, remember the word repititions and how often Ana blushed on each page, and it’s a trilogy. Or imagine the costs for having to print new copies or broschures. 10 might not be a problem, but how about 100,000? Right.
Speaking of Amazon: You can publish books on your own now by an Amazon service. I bought and read some of these self-published books and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical or an e-book: Please have an professional linguistic, be it a translator or editor, read your text before publishing. I know that you save money without a publishing house, but you owe it to your customer to produce a high-quality text.
On my German website I wrote about studies saying that almost 100% of all sent emails internally or to customers/partners/etc. contain orthographical mistakes. Daily sent emails. And it doesn’t matter who send them, be it the employees or managers/bosses. Not to mention CVs and applications, as I pointed out earlier. I keep reading interviews with HR managern of big and small companies stressing the importance of sending files with no mistakes whatsoever in it, because it will affect your impression very much. Some HR manager might continue reading, but most won’t and this is especially sad considering you might have been the perfect candidate for the job.
Maybe I’m a bit more sensitive to mistakes because of my job. However, I often read about this topic and some of my friends are managers and confirm my statement as well as my friends and family do. So I think I’m quite right about this. And I did hear a lot of stories about customers who lost a lot of money, because of having to print new copies or broschures shortly before the actual publication date…
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