Proofreading tips to increase translation quality
Incorporating your small freelance translation business
March 27, 2011
Interesting facts on doing business in Sweden from SACC (or keeping up on business news)
April 16, 2011
Show all

I am preparing a webinar for Thursday about Quality Assurance for translators and came across this article with great proofreading tips for translators by Danilo Nogueira and Kelli Semolini from 2009, called “Twelve Ways to Enhance Translation Quality“. Here is a summarized version of the most important steps:

1. —Avoid rework by trying to do things right the first time. Try to translate each phrase as if the translation were to be published on real time.
2. —Keep a list of dangerous words: Words that you often mistype, but the spellchecker cannot catch, for example principle and principal, where and were.
—3. Run the spell and grammar checker.
4. —Learn study and comply with target-language typography and punctuation rules. A common mistake among new translators is to keep for example the number formatting of the source language.
5. —Never use the “Replace all” command – can lead to “strange” mistyping and words.
6. —Proofread by comparing with the source, but also by just reading the target text to check that it “flows”.
7. —Check headers, footer, graphs and text boxes.
I am sure that most of you already use these steps, but it never hurts to repeat them, and do a refresher in proofreading. Do you have any other proofreading tips that you like?


Swedish Translation Services is a company owned by Tess Whitty, a freelance translator (English-Swedish), proofreader, editor, copy writer, localizer and entrepreneur.


  1. Hello Tess, I find that QA tools such as PerfectIt and Apsic Xbench can be very useful in smoking out errors, especially if you customise them to enforce preferred spelling variations, to catch errors that you know you tend to overlook, to pick up on dangling modifiers, etc.

  2. Megan Onions says:

    Hi Tess,

    Thank you for bringing this point up. You’re right, it’s always important to go over these things. Personally, I like to print the text out and read it aloud after leaving it for a while. That way, I feel more ‘removed’ from the text, and any odd-sounding words or phrases stand out.