Tips for New Translators

The translation techniques books say it’s a very easy step and they all recommend you leave the translation aside for a day or two and reread it then. But when is it that a translator can have enough time to complete, edit, proofread and deliver the translation by the set deadline? We all have multiple projects we are working on at the same time and it often happens that they all have to be delivered by the same deadline. I’m taking about hours, and not days.

Proofreading means checking the accuracy of a text in terms of grammar, syntax and spelling. What I can recommend is make up your own steps to follow to complete the proofreading of you own work.

  1. Watch out for what you know is usually giving you a hard time. Is it tense? Is it homonyms? Whatever it is, read the content one more time, looking specifically for that issue.
  2. Use the spellchecker. Although it should be a logical step, several times I came across translations containing obvious misspelled words.
  3. Print out the copy. It’s a lot easier to read on paper than on the computer.
  4. Hire a proofreader. While this may seem expensive, it will prove beneficial on the long term. It will help you deliver great translations and, also seeing your work edited by someone else will help you understand your typical errors.
  5. Check all the numbers and names of people and places. Twice.

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