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In our previous article, we explained the main differences between text improvement services to help you make an informed decision that best fits your needs. Even though all of these services can stand alone, they are in many cases bundled with a translation service. As the end result and price, will differ depending on which combination you opt for, here are some recommendations on what to pick based on your wishes and requirements.
Translation with proofreading
We recommend adding a proofreading service to translation to most of our clients. It is the best way to ensure a good quality result at a reasonable cost. All translations are entrusted to expert linguists who are fluent in the source and target languages, as well as familiar with the subject matter. The translation is then handed to an independent proofreader, who is always a native speaker of the target language. The proofreader polishes the text and ensures it sounds natural, uses the right tone of voice, and is free of any grammatical errors. A proofread translation is ready for public use.
Translation with revision
Pairing translation with revision (i.e. comparison between the source and translation, in addition to proofreading) will ensure even higher translation accuracy. Whereas proofreading is perfectly suitable for a wide range of general or less terminologically demanding texts, revision is recommended for all highly specialised documents that rely on accuracy and precision, such as medical and pharmaceutical texts. A reviser, as opposed to a proofreader, must be fluent in not only the target, but also the source language, in addition to being an expert in the field. In some cases, the role of proofreading and comparison between the source document and its translation may be performed by two different people: the first irons out any grammatical imperfections and the second is able to check the accuracy of the content.
Machine translation with post-editing
As we discussed before, machine translation is slowly creeping into the translation industry, with some language service providers including it as a cheaper alternative. However, its accuracy is still not on par with expert human translation, so a machine translation will always have to be post-edited. We certainly do not recommend ordering machine translation as a standalone service or doing it yourselves using one of the many fairly unreliable online tools. If you already use machine translation, internally or through an agency, you should always ask for post-editing. This combination may end up being a little cheaper compared to traditional translation with proofreading or revision, but it may not be as good. Translation and proofreading or revision combination, entrusted to a reputable language service provider will always be performed by two linguists, whereas post-editing will only be done by a single person who may not catch and improve all questionable machine translations.
What about translation only
If you opt for translation only, your text will be worked on by a single linguist. This will of course be an expert translator, both in terms of language proficiency and knowledge of the field. If you order this service through a translation agency, the project manager (PM), assigned to the project will likely also perform a quality assurance (QA) check of the translation. However, this check cannot be equated with proofreading, as the PM may not be a native speaker of the target language or sufficiently proficient in the source language or subject field. Some agencies perform automatic QA checks through a CAT tool that will likely catch potential glaring mistakes (e.g. typos, missing translations, wrong numbers etc.) but will not provide suggestions for improving the translation.
As you surely know from experience, no matter how good you are at your job, small mistakes can always happen and often we fail to spot them ourselves. Working on a text is no different; an independent proofreader or reviser is more likely to find imperfections that a translator may not notice, no matter how many times they reread their work. A fresh pair of eyes can ensure that the text will be in pristine shape and ready for public use. We typically only recommend translation without proofreading or revision to clients if the translation will be used internally for comprehension purposes, or if they have their own expert reviewers.
We hope that this article shed some light on the key differences and recommendations regarding our most common services. To learn more about them and many others that we offer, visit our website or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to make your documents shine in any language!