Reviewing, editing, proofreading differences
Thread poster: Raúl Tomassini

Raúl Tomassini
Local time: 22:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 5, 2009

Off course I have an idea but, I would be very grateful if you may make me clearer the accurate distinctions between the reviewing, editing and proofreading tasks, as well as who does normally perform these jobs, a pair translator, a target language specialist or linguistics?

Thanks everyone in advance.


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:32
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
See article on site Sep 5, 2009

This is quite a useful article:
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/543/1/The-difference-between-editing-and-proofreading

I don't remember it in detail, but to me, proofreading means reading the English (in my case) for spelling and grammatical errors; reviewing means proofreading, plus checking the translation against the source text; editing means all of that, plus--if the customer wants--doing more drastic editing, such as deleting superfluous or repetitive junk, adding explanations, etc.

I charge the same for all, which is an hourly rate--but obviously the amount of time required increases for the latter two categories.


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Raúl Casanova  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 22:32
English to Spanish
I agree Sep 5, 2009

with Susan's suggestion, article by Victoria G is well worth reading. I'm pasting some extracts from other discussions which might be of value to you (Sorry, I didn't had the time to find the links to those specific threads)

editing: revision of the translation with correction of mistranslations, omissions/additions, as well as language errors in the target language. Done by comparing the target text to the source text.
proofreading: revision of the translation to correct typos and similar errors in the target language. Performed without reference to the source language.
word counts: word counts are calculated on the source text, unless otherwise specified. Exceptions are texts provided as hard copy or in non-editable format (e.g., most pdf files), in which case the word count is calculated on the target text.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Beware of rewriting/editing jobs masquerading as "proofreading" jobs Sep 6, 2009

This is an endemic practice in the translation field, and usually involves an agency asking that you "proofread" a translation that has been done, that they themselves know is grossly defective, and their offering some minimal fee for your doing so.

Safest thing to do is what Susan suggests: charge an hourly rate. Unfortunately, agencies will often insist that you quote a fixed price. If this happens, simply include the caveat that your quote is premised on the assumption that the text in question is already well written and not in need of extensive revision. And make sure you look at the entire text as soon as you get it to assure that this is true. (If it is not true, write back and tell the agency bluntly that far more work is involved than they have suggested, and provide a revised quote.)

I've posted on this before as well but, like Raul, I don't have time to track it down right now.


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Raúl Tomassini
Local time: 22:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Susan, Robert and "tocayo" Sep 7, 2009

Thanks everybody for your helpful explanation and the article too.

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Xiaochuan Cao
China
Local time: 09:32
English to Chinese
+ ...
my experience Nov 16, 2009

I had an internship in a publishing house which focuses on publishing Chinese translation of literary works in English and other languages. I believe what I did mostly there was editing or reviewing, though before reading this post, I would call it "revising."

In Chinese, the distinction between proofreading and reviewing is not that clear. There is a Chinese word for proofreading(校对), and another word meaning both proofreading and reviewing(审校).

I was given both the original and the translation, and was asked to read both of them and make revisions, sometimes pretty extensive, on the translation. As an intern, I was involved in the first round of reviewing printed manuscripts(done in pencil rather than on computer), which will then be submitted to the editor for another round of reviewing, which is decisive.

I believe after that there is a final round of purely proofreading (without comparison with the original) done by very professional proofreaders, who are virtually walking dictionaries.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:32
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
There is a very good book on the subject Nov 16, 2009

It is reviewed here:

http://www.proz.com/references/71

Of course, it not only gives definitions of the three levels of the proces, but goes systematically into detail of what is involved, with suggestions, warnings of pitfalls and examples.

It is also a help to self-help - what to look for in your own work before sending it to the client, and it is an eye-opener even for experienced proofreaders or editors.

Of course it takes time to read it, but it for me it was certainly time well spent.



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Kenneth Woo
China
Local time: 09:32
English to Chinese
proofreading, reviewing, checking, editing Oct 17, 2014

I have a similar question and would appreciate it if someone could tell me whether my understanding of the following terms is correct.

proofreading: correcting the translation without referring to the source document

reviewing:correcting the translation against the source document

checking: same as reviewing

editing: correcting the translation with or without referring to the source document, plus making various other kinds of changes, if necessary, in sentence structure, word choice, style, etc.


Thanks in advance.


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