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Editing is a crucial step in the translation process. It is the step that transforms a good translation into an awesome translation, ensuring that it’s clear, that it suits the intended purpose, that it’s error-free, and that it’s perfectly suited for the intended audience – both in terms of language and culture.


One of my life mantras, which has been confirmed time and again during my career in the translation industry, is that we should never assume. We should never assume, for example, that the work of an excellent translator with whom we’ve worked for years cannot be improved. Believe me: even this excellent translator would benefit from having their translations put through a professional editing step. You might wonder why that’s the case, and I could spend all day long telling you why. But I’ll spare you the pain and give you five good reasons (if you want to hear twenty more, drop me a line!).


An excellent translation might be accurate and preserve the message of the source text, but it's also possible that it failed to capture the right tone and style. One of the roles of a professional editor is to watch out for these subtleties and ensure that the translated content not only conveys the message accurately but also does it in a way that suits the language and culture of the intended target audience. They help ensure that the translation feels natural (i.e., that it doesn’t read as a translation) and resonates with the audience, just as if it had been initially written in the target language.



Excellent translators who produce equally excellent translations are still human – and rightly so. Despite using translation memories, glossaries, and spell-checkers, small errors can bypass the sharpest of eyes, especially when a translator has been looking at the same text again and again during the translation process. And this is where a second pair of eyes comes in very handy. A professional editor focuses on the finer details and makes sure that the grammar, syntax, and spelling are impeccable to make the text a joy to read.



In larger projects, like a whole website with dozens of pages or thousands of words of dialogues of an entire video game, maintaining consistency in terminology and style can be an odyssey. To err is human, and an excellent translation might still contain an inconsistency or two that escaped the translator’s eyes. A professional editor is trained to meticulously check the translation from beginning to end and ensure that the style, structure, and readability are perfect. This is why pairing an excellent translator with an excellent editor can only bring about one thing = an excellent result!



Translators have to jump countless hurdles while still making sure that, at the core, their translations remain faithful to the original text. Along the way, they might lose sight of the bigger picture and end up with a translation that lacks the appropriate clarity and flow. A professional editor is able to rephrase the text as needed, adjust words, and fix the sentence structure to improve the overall clarity and readability of the text.



Last, but certainly not least, editing is the final quality assurance step that a text needs before it’s ready to be unveiled to the public. Nothing is perfect (with the exception of kittens) and even an excellent translation has room for improvement or might contain minor errors such as an unfortunately placed typo that will make your message lose credibility. A final, thorough check is crucial to guarantee that the content is ready to be published and that it’s up to the excellent quality that you and your product deserve.

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