Proofreading and editing

Proofreading and editing Proofreading ensures that a text corresponds to the rules of spelling and grammar and is devoid of misprints. Misprints include any technical errors, such as the absence of spaces or the wrong sequence of letters. The proofreader is therefore responsible for the correction of all major linguistic errors.

The language editor is responsible for a more thorough linguistic analysis, which, in addition to editing, also monitors the logical composition, clarity and disambiguation of a text, making the text more fluent and stylistically correct. The main difference between the proofreader and the editor lies in the fact that the editor’s responsibility likewise includes scrutiny of facts. For example, in editing translations of technology texts the editor will compare the original and the translation, and correct the wrong numerical data in the translations, if any. However, the original cannot always be taken for the ultimate truth and therefore the editor will always be sceptical of stipulations and check stated facts.

Need for proofreading and editing

It is said that the editor's task is to protect authors from their own mistakes. It is human to err – authors make both misprints and spelling mistakes. Therefore it is necessary that the text be read by someone else who is specialised in detecting and correcting such errors. A good editor has adequate experience, knowledge and awareness as to what should be scrutinised and possess the ability to recognise typical mistakes.

Ideally, the editor is the last person to make a text ready for the readers. However, this is often not the case as the author is considered almighty and, as such, has the last word. Problems arising from such an attitude can only be solved by relevant communication. The language editors will always communicate with the author as well as the translator and explain why certain corrections were made. Mutual communication and cooperation always yield the best results.

The basic principles of proofreading and editing

Different text types have their specific linguistic characteristics as well as typical errors. Scientific texts, technology texts, legal and administrative texts, media, fictional texts - they all require a corresponding approach. There are, however, some general rules of editing, which apply to all texts.

  • The text must comply with the rules of spelling and grammar.
  • Expression must be clear and unambiguous.
  • Formulation must be simple and readable.

Apart from these requirements, a good language editor must likewise keep in mind the following:

  • Personal linguistic tastes are not preferred.
  • All corrections will be made in a minimum and reasoned way.

In editing also the target group, i.e. readers, will be considered. If something is incomprehensible to the editor, it is not likely that the readers will understand it. Such thinking requires the expertise of the editor in a particular area, such as technology, medicine, law, etc. However, editors often have to address different texts, and in such cases the editor will consult reliable sources, such as spelling dictionaries, terminology dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopaedias as well as expert advice.

What is edited?

In general, editing looks at the text from two aspects: the technical side and the linguistic side. The technical side means that line spacing, aligning, paragraphing, fractioning, general spacing, etc. must have been done in the correct manner. Orthographic correctness is monitored in text editing, including the following:

  • compounding,
  • capitalisation,
  • numbers,,
  • abbreviations,
  • (phonetic) spelling;

also formulation and wording, the meanings of words, errors in logic, punctuation, syntax and style.

Scriba translation agency is always ready to help you and edit any texts you may require. If necessary, we also perform proofreading and thorough editing.

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