When should a translation into English be proofread?

When Should You Have Your English Translation Proofread?

Have you had a document translated into English but are not satisfied with the result? If so, you may need to ask a professional proofreader to correct the translated document.


What does proofreading in English involve?

Many professional companies, such as Alphatrad UK, offer translation correction services in English and other languages.

For example, you can ask for a document to be proofread if you have done the English translation yourself, and you have doubts about the final quality. But you can also ask for it to be proofread if it was done by a professional translator and you are not satisfied with the result.

Correction can be carried out in two ways: either the proofreader works directly from the target text translated into English, without comparing it with the source text; or a translator corrects the document translated into English by comparing it with the original version in the source language. This second option is more expensive, but it ensures the correct transcription of the original text.


When is proofreading an English translation necessary?

Proofreading an English translation may be necessary if:

  • The translated text uses a mixture of English variants

The translator may not have distinguished between British and American English in the translation. This distinction is essential for linguistic harmony and consistency, but also to protect against possible misinterpretation. The proofreader will ensure that the right language is consistently used throughout.

  • The English translation is too literal

A common mistake made by non-professional or inexperienced translators is to make a literal translation. This "word-for-word" translation makes the text difficult and tedious to read. The proofreader can adapt and improve the text so that the translation phase is not noticeable to the reader.

  • The translation has not been culturally adapted

A fundamental criterion when translating into English (or into any language), is the cultural adaptation of a text. A text that does not reflect the norms, customs and habits of the target audience may be offensive or simply incomprehensible. This is particularly true for translations of marketing or advertising material. Furthermore, in the case of an English translation for the banking or legal sector, for example, it is also important to adapt the text to the legal and financial systems in force in the country concerned.

  • The translation contains errors

It is also important to have the English translation corrected if it contains grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors, typos or stylistic errors (repetition, too long sentences, clumsiness, etc.).

  • The meaning of the original document has not been transcribed

If you feel that the meaning of the original document has not been conveyed in the translation, it is again essential to have the text corrected by a professional company, such as Alphatrad UK.


FAQ on proofreading English translations

You should ask for a translated document to be proofread and corrected if you are not satisfied with the translation. For example, if the text contains spelling errors, stylistic errors, has not been adapted to the target audience or the local culture, or if the document mixes British and American English.

A variety of translated documents can be corrected including: financial, legal, medical, technical, commercial, marketing, etc. In many sectors of activity, translation errors can have very serious consequences, so it is important to have a translation proofread and corrected by a specialist professional, if there is any doubt about the quality of the translation.

It is indeed possible to ask a professional to proofread, correct and improve a text that you have translated into English yourself.


About the author

Frédéric Ibanez

The editorial team, which is led by the founder of the group to which Alphatrad UK belongs, consists of experts who specialise in language services. Our goal is to regularly provide you with articles related to translation and language services, which will help you with your language services’ needs.

Add new comment