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Software for proofreading
Thread poster: PhotographyCol

PhotographyCol
Germany
Local time: 23:42
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Nov 30, 2013

Hello,

which software do you use for proofreading English texts? Which one is best? What is your experience?
Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Peter


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:42
Japanese to English
+ ...
Microsoft Word with track changes Nov 30, 2013

I haven't found anything that MS Word 2010 can't do for the proofreading jobs I've done up to now.

I like the feature it has where you can put two open Word documents side-by-side and lock their scrolling, so you can easily check different versions against each other. Also, track changes is really helpful for the translator (assuming the agency sends it back to them for review).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
PerfectIt Nov 30, 2013

Believe me, it isn't like Word. It has a totally different functionality - it isn't either a spell-checker or a grammar-checker for a start! It doesn't dispense with the need for those, nor does it spot more than a small percentage of the errors that a good proofreader should be able to spot. And it really isn't designed to be used for short texts - you can use it, but it may not save time. So what does it do? Basically, it checks for (1) consistency; (2) compliance with a certain style; (3) some of the most common, known errors. PerfectIt runs within Word, so all its changes immediately become tracked if you like.

Consistency is something I find very difficult to maintain in a long text, even if it doesn't have to comply with a particular style guide. If I'm proofreading a thesis with hundreds of headings and sub-headings, PerfectIt will immediately tell me if the author has capitalised some and not others, used a different font, or whatever; in bullet lists, it will highlight if capitalisation, spacing or punctuation is inconsistent; if the author has used "wetsuit", "wet-suit" and "wet suit", I'll be informed immediately and can choose which to use consistently throughout the document (although I don't think I've ever proofread those examples so I can't swear to that).

The most basic style guide for an English proofreader has to do with language variant. I can tell PerfectIt to ensure British English is used throughout. It'll present me with a list of non-British spellings and terms so that I can change them all, with one click, or I can keep those that are proper nouns or within quotes, etc. Then there are more specific style guides: I often need to comply with the EU Style Guide. Style guides are sometimes quite quirky in their rules for spelling, punctuation and layout. I might forget or get confused, but PerfectIt doesn't.

You can customise it to the nth degree or you can just use the basics. I don't know the half of it, actually, but it saves me a lot of time on the more boring tasks, leaving me to spend my time checking sentence flow, term choice, etc.


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:42
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Perfetit or Track changes Nov 30, 2013

I use track changes in Word 2010 or 2013-they are similar. Sheila's suggestion sounds perfect for all tasks but especially for longer tasks but some agencies specify that they want you to use track changes, so I would check with the agency first as Track changes allows the agency to accept/reject changes. I do not know if Perfectit works in the same way though it sounds as if it does a better job. So, check first with the agency, then, if the agency does not specify, by all means, try Sheila' suggestion as it sounds perfect. I will try it out and see the difference as it seems to have and carry out more functions.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Both Nov 30, 2013

I use both track changes (with side by side scrolling) and PerfectIt. The latter picks up all those inconsistencies that your eyes may have missed. I use it for all my translations as well.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
PerfectIt Dec 2, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

The most basic style guide for an English proofreader has to do with language variant. I can tell PerfectIt to ensure British English is used throughout. It'll present me with a list of non-British spellings and terms so that I can change them all, with one click, or I can keep those that are proper nouns or within quotes, etc.
might forget or get confused, but PerfectIt doesn't.

You can customise it to the nth degree or you can just use the basics. I don't know the half of it, actually, but it saves me a lot of time on the more boring tasks, leaving me to spend my time checking sentence flow, term choice, etc.

[/quote]

PerfectIt is, like any other tool, designed to help speed up the process of checking my own translation or proofread a colleague's. As Sheila stated: it saves a lot of time on the boring tasks. This, even by itself, is worth the investment already.


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Drew MacFadyen
SITE STAFF
PerfectIt free trial on ProZ.com Jan 3, 2014

For those interested in PerfectIt you can test it out for free at http://www.proz.com/PerfectIt/Consistency_Checker (also found on the main navigation menu under "tools"). From there you can also purchase at a 5% discount.

Happy translating.

Drew


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 23:42
Italian to German
+ ...
I use my CAT tool Jan 3, 2014

Hi Drew,
when buying a CAT tool today I'm expecting that such a functionality is fully implemented. To my knowledge this is the case in Trados Studio and MemoQ where you can open translated files especially for the Reviewing task, and it's also useful when you have to update a document.

In Studio you can at any time open a document for reviewing and run an extensive QA which will eliminate the most basic errors in your translations, including spelling and completness errors.
If you add "Perfect Match" ressources when creating a project, then you will see the same functions as highlighting text differences in MS Word, and you can quickly update a document.

In MemoQ, at the current release, I find the segment status and procedures not so crystal clear as in Studio, but it also has this function to show text differences from one version to the next etc.

Basically, you shouldn't use a different tool because the loss of time may be considerable, depending on your project.
But whatever tool you will be using, it will not prevent the fact that YOU have to read all the text carefully to fix translation errors and else; that's because these tools only have limited correction capabilities, starting with the spell check that only works for very basic errors (and surely not for any errors!) and going on with readability of the text and the checking for its form to suit its purpose. Personally I feel that I don't need any additional tools for that, because no one will replace MY two cents...

Greets,
Mike

[Edited at 2014-01-03 17:17 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Consistency Jan 3, 2014

I have to admit I have not tried PerfectIt yet, so perhaps this is a good chance. I understand it checks for things that a spelling checker does not, and especially consistency within the document.

Do you fluctuate between specialise/specialize, hyphens and so on?

The QA in Studio throws up large numbers of false errors - it questions differences between the source and the target, which are often perfectly correct.

E.g. the abbreviation for 'third' in Danish is 3. - simply the figure and the full stop.
When this is correctly translated as 3rd or written as third (because in English small numbers are written out in full more often than in Danish), Studio's QA registers this as 'not translated or not correctly localized', and marks it as a serious error.

If you add an explanation in brackets that were not in the source, or if the punctuation is different at the end of a sentence (English is stricter than Danish about question marks, for instance) they will also be marked as errors.

Of course you can override them, but it takes time and calls for concentration to find the real errors.


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F Scott Ophof  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 16:42
Dutch to English
+ ...
PerfectIt for proofreading Jan 3, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:
I understand it checks for things that a spelling checker does not, and especially consistency within the document.

Indeed, exactly those things (consistency in (numbered) lists, consistency in capitalisation, consistency in hyphenation, consistency in punctuation, etc. Consistency.
And it does not matter what language the document is in. But I have no experience with other scripts than the one used for the Germanic- and Latin-based languages. It would be interesting to hear of results with Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and other such scripts.

Do you fluctuate between specialise/specialize, hyphens and so on?

Exactly!

And yes, with or without Track Changes. And so very much more!

It does take its time to do the initial checking, but that gives one the time to take a breather or make a phone call, or....

One of the neat things I found out is that it gives one the chance to decide--in the case of for instance capitalisation--whether to cap a certain instance without having to accept that capping for ALL instances.

It does NOT tell the user what is 'wrong'. Instead, it simply shows the user where there is an inconsistency. The user decides. And one can check even more if one uses style sheets (either those already available for free, or one's own, or a mix).
It defaults to English, so it will definitely need tweaks--and maybe style-sheets--for other languages.
[For example, is it 'style sheets' or 'style-sheets'...]

It's actually fun to run it on a document you're sure of is 100% error-free.
At least, if one has no problem with acknowledging one's own bloopers. ;->

As someone else said, it does relieve one of the stressful chore of comparing things scattered throughout a large document, and allows one to concentrate on those things usually hidden by the common inconsistencies.

If this sounds like an advert, well... it is not; I already got my discount when I posted a mini-test in a group on LinkedIn.


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proofreadmyessa
United Kingdom
Software for proofreading Apr 2, 2014

Drew MacFadyen wrote:

For those interested in PerfectIt you can test it out for free at http://www.proz.com/PerfectIt/Consistency_Checker (also found on the main navigation menu under "tools"). From there you can also purchase at a 5% discount.

Happy translating.

Drew


I have used Consistency Checker from proz.com. In comparison with other similar tools, it is the best that I have found so far. It provides great value for money, and I think that many other people would agree with me.


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Jaffer Wilsom
American Samoa
Better proofreader available at Aimstechnology Mar 26, 2015

Get to know more about proofreading from the writers available at aimstechnology. Proofreading is an art of a writer and helps in attracting the educated readers

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Jaffer Mar 26, 2015

Jaffer Wilsom wrote:
Get to know more about proofreading from the writers available at aimstechnology.com. Proofreading is an art of a writer and helps in attracting the educated readers.


Attempted link spam?



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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
The last remaining anxiety of the translator Mar 26, 2015

For the experienced translator who's very careful about turning out a perfect job every time, and who checks and checks, the last remaining anxiety is the fear of not spotting an inconsistency, a missing word, or some other silly mistake that has slipped through the net.

I enjoyed the intentional or inadvertent viral sales pitch for PerfectIt, which fortunately isn't available for the Mac operating system, thus saving me $99.

I say "fortunately" because I would always worry that the proof-reading software failed to pick something up anyway; requiring proof-reading software that checks other proof-reading software, that checks other proof-reading software, and so ad infinitum.

Instead of spending $99 on something that might not be entirely reliable, I'd be more interested in some kind of mutual support system, on this website, whereby we would all agree to proof-read one another's translations, for free, on a relaxed, ad-hoc, friendly basis.

[Edited at 2015-03-26 10:04 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Sheila Mar 26, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:
...if the author has used "wetsuit", "wet-suit" and "wet suit", I'll be informed immediately and can choose which to use consistently throughout the document (although I don't think I've ever proofread those examples so I can't swear to that).


Can you customise the inconsistency search? In my language we have words that can have an "s" in it or not, depending on the author's preference, e.g. "landwyd x landswyd".

And can it pick up inconsistencies in hyphen usage? In my language, certain hyphens are optional and depend on the author's preference, e.g. "hoof- uitvoerende beampte x hoof uitvoerende beampte", and e.g. "menslikehulpbronne-afdeling x menslikehulpbronneafdeling".

And how about compounded versus non-compounded words? In my language, some words can be written as two words or one word, depending on the author's preference, e.g. "hieronder x "hier onder".


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