What’s the difference between revision and proofreading?
Proofreading basically involves checking the spelling and punctuation of a target language text without reference to the source language; revision is a more complex process which involves comparing the target text with the source text to verify its suitability for the agreed purpose and to recommend corrective measures; clients often ask me to revise texts that have been originally translated by a non-native speaker so as to ensure that the end result is cohesive, clear and effective.
One Dutch translation company sends me copy that has been written in English by Dutch horticulturalists. Now the Dutch are renowned for their language skills, and these texts are generally understandable; they just need polishing. It’s often a question of correcting the register, prepositions and tenses, and simplifying the sentence structures.
For example: “Most of the time it’s very appreciated by growers because their buyers are good specialists in products. Buyers really care about quality”
becomes this: “Growers certainly appreciate the fact that their buyers are genuine product specialists who really care about quality”
or: “Try aubergines three different variations. This is an exceptional recipe which will surpass your guests!”
becomes this: “Aubergine cooked in three different ways, a sophisticated dish that will delight your guests!”