Sunday, December 17

Proofreading Ethics (Tips to Proofread Translation of Other Linguist)

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While working as a translator, I am often asked to proofread the documents translated by other translators.

Like other translators, my work is also proofread by any other linguist. I strongly believe that every translator have had at least 1 negative experience when having his own work proofread by unknown professional.

So is the case with me, I was really surprised when my client told me that his proofreader regarded my translation as “low-quality” and “terrible”. Despite the fact that he only adjusted only few minor mistakes and sentence style changes, he tried to prove his superiority by showing my translation of inferior quality.

Isn’t it self-gain? Scores of people who belong to this profession (excluding those who are lucky) experience the same problem. It is just because negative proofreaders try to convince their clients that they can produce higher quality works.

If you are a proofreader then, be careful in regarding other’s work as second-rate. Such techniques (intentional or not) almost always backfires and can damage your image seriously.

I have outlined some of major guidelines which must be considered during proofreading in order to avoid any unpleasant situation.


Appreciate nice translations before client. If it is very poor, tell client straight forward that this project is NOT PROOFREADABLE.


Be flexible; don’t try to change style of translation unless and until it is really strikes the bases of quality.


Be careful while criticizing. Don’t try to exaggerate or use embarrassing words to show your superiority over translator.

Project managers are well aware of such ill techniques and usually weed out over-smart proofreaders.


Provide constructive feedback to your client. Tell him the pros and cons of work.

If project is highly technical or too much difficult and translator produced high quality with only few mistakes, take this point into account’ appreciate & defend translator.

You are human being, show your humanity.

In-depth View

If a bird eye view shows that translation is great, don’t rest on your luck. Proofread entire document thoroughly and make necessary adjustments. You will always find mistakes, notwithstanding the fact that how much the quality is great.


When you are asked to proofread the document, it is a God-gifted chance to learn. Don’t miss this chance!

About Author:

Muawiyah Haider is an expert article writer, works for professional translation services agency OLS.  For more information please visit our website: Professional translation.

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