Monolingual proofreading gives translations or any other copy a final, polished character. Everyone needs a proofreader to make sure their content is 100% ready for publishing or delivery to business partners.
When do you need proofreading?
After DTP. Translated texts often make a mess of the original formatting and require an additional DTP step. When this step is completed, it is important to have the formatted text proofread by someone who will catch typical errors.
After crafting copy yourself. You definitely want a professional linguist to review copy and ensure that it is free from spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, as well as formatting problems. Content types that call for proofreading include websites, Microsoft Word files with complex formatting, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and Adobe InDesign documents.
Note that although proofreading does increase the quality of translations, it is monolingual by definition; that is, it does not cover the most important aspects of translation: accuracy, consistency, and style. For that, you need bilingual editing.
Having a second pair of eyes review your written materials always adds value. Proofreading helps ensure high quality, in particular after DTP or when you wrote the material yourself.
Proofreading helps avoid painful blunders that may turn off your prospective customers.
In case of translations, a proofreader may alert you to critical errors in the translation, so that you can have your translation vendor fix them.
Scope of proofreading
A proofreader checks translations or any other written materials for the following problems:
Spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors;
Formatting problems, such as incomplete or untranslated text, hyphenation, character corruption, font formatting of incorrect words, incorrect page numbers in tables of contents, or inconsistent punctuation in numbered or bullet lists;
Unlike bilingual editing, monolingual proofreading does not include comparison with the original text beyond formatting.
A proofreader usually works on final files, such as PDFs or websites. He or she makes notes or corrections directly in the file or creates a separate report.
To ensure higher quality of proofreading of translations, we also run an automated quality assurance check, as long as clients also provide bilingual files, such as translation memories (TMX). Such QA helps find errors that are less obvious to the human eye.