Editing 101 for Buyers

EditingLast month we gave you a short introduction to revision, during which a second professional translator looks at the translated text and compares it against the source to make sure it is an accurate translation. We briefly mentioned that there are lots of similarities between revision and editing, so this time we’d like to explore these – together with the differences between these two services.

Job title: Editor

Editing is a profession on its own and top editors will not only have years of editing experience under their belt but – just like professional translators – they will have special training, specialised qualifications and most likely a membership in a professional organisation. When we choose the best editor for your project, we look at their experience, education, memberships, their preferred subject matters or type of texts and pick them based on all these factors. While some editors can speak some foreign languages, many of them are monolingual and have spent years of exploring all the little quirks of that one language: their mother tongue.

So why do you need an editor?

Editors are invaluable in the process of preparing your text for publication.
They’ll make sure that the right terminology is used and that it is used consistently.
They’ll tidy up your grammar and punctuation, as well. We all make some mistakes, even when we write in our mother tongue, but a professional editor with a trained eye will catch all those little issues, ambiguous sentences, garbled word order.
They will also look at the style with the target audience and the purpose of the text in mind. Is the style consistent? Is the terminology appropriate for that register? Should a simpler language be used? Editors make sure that the final text is suitable for your readers and your purpose.
If needed, they’ll also do some fact-checking. They look through any dates and cross-reference them with other sources, check the spelling of names and the correct transliteration of foreign names. Other types of factual information will also be researched, historical or biographical data.

When does the editor get involved in a project?

Editing should certainly be done before typesetting. Editing an already typeset text can lead to confusion, missing potential issues and wasting the editor’s, the typesetter’s and most importantly your time.
If the text in question is a translated copy, editing should be done on the final version of the translation, so if revision is requested for a particular project, editing should be carried out after that step.

Do you have any further questions about the work editors do?

If you do have some questions, please do let us know! We would love to answer any queries you may have or provide any further information about the editing process. Just give us a call at 01223 356 733 or send us a quick email at enquiries@firstedit.co.uk.

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