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?