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Everyone Needs an Editor

Photo by Sam Craig, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pirateyjoe/4871307326/

That’s right. Translators are no exception. Do you doubt it?

Here are five reasons to buy translation + editing, a service where a translation by one translator is edited by a second translator.

  1. Even great authors have editors. Mark Twain had editors, for example, even though he hated them and once wrote, “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made proof-readers.”
  2. If a translator did a bad job (and even good translators do so from time to time, since nobody is perfect), an editor will alert a client or a project manager. Otherwise, by publishing copy that no one has read except the translator, clients expose themselves to the risk of being laughed at. Just as McDonald’s did when they did not care to have a marketing slogan checked by someone who was competent and motivated enough to raise a flag.
  3. A study by IBM showed that using an editor to edit website copy gives 30% better visitor engagement compared to unedited copy.
  4. While an individual who writes copy needs an editor, it’s even more true for a translator, whose task is two-faceted. In addition to writing new copy, the translator is tasked with conveying the original message accurately.
  5. EN 15038, the European translation services standard, says “four eyes on a translation”: a translator and an editor. Having fresh eyes with a different perspective on a translation helps find errors the original translator almost invariably misses. This is not to say that there is something wrong with “translation only” service. In fact, we offer it, too. In the end, it’s all about a client’s budget and quality expectations. Think Ford vs. Mercedes Benz. If you want average quality, then go for translation only; if you want more, translation + editing is what you need.

One more thing: There are undoubtedly exceptional translators who are so good they can do a great job without an editor. But they are scarce and difficult to find. Even big translation agencies say they have a hard time finding good translators, and those agencies have vendor managers on staff for this purpose! And if you do find a top translator, he/she will likely ask for a hefty fee.

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About the Author

Roman Mironov
Roman Mironov
CEO & Founder

As the founder of Velior, Roman has had the privilege of being able to turn his passion for languages into a business. He has over 15 years of experience in the translation industry. Roman has helped dozens of clients increase sales by making their products appealing for speakers of other languages.