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The Qualities of a Good Translation Editor

The Qualities of a Good Translation Editor

Translation Editor

In the modern industry, a translation editor is someone who reviews a translated document performed by someone else. His task in this fast-developing multi-step translation performance consists of translation, edition, page proofs to correct all mistakes that the original translator accidentally overlooked. It is normal that the original translator overlooks some mistakes, so having another professional translator behind your back is priceless.

The best characteristic of a quality translation editor is certainly an easy access to the translation and keeping their ego at bay. Perfectly translated, natural, correct, and original paraphrasing must not be changed in order to show the editor’s personal choice. Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with the quality of editors. Some of them will intentionally try to make another point (there is a possibility that they are annoyed that they did not get the right meaning at first), and some of them will lack the ability to distinguish between taste and correctness.

The first and the most important quality and skill for a translation editor is perfect knowledge of the source language. Editing loses on quality when you do not have a proper knowledge of the source language, because the meaning very often does not have any sense, since you can only correct a translation for something that is obvious, such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. To develop this skill requires a lot of effort and time.

Concentration is another necessity for proper editing. Since it is an exhausting work, it requires a lot of concentration. This is mainly because a translation editor must correct the errors that the translator overlooked. These errors are difficult to observe at first, as they are not only spelling or grammar; otherwise, the translator would not have made them.

Multitasking is another reason – an editor does not only compare the source and the target language texts, but also checks for paraphrasing and stylistic issues, disagreement between languages, and some easier problems, such as spelling or punctuation. It is not easy to grasp all these issues. Therefore, an translation editor must be fully dedicated and concentrated on the translation.

Pay attention to details. Details give the essence to the translation, and because of that, the ability to catch all the details is referred to as professionalism. In this way, you can see how genuine the editor’s approach to work is. However, he can acquire all these qualities but he will easily fail unless his qualities are pedantic and complete. The hardest task in editing is to indicate all possible problems in a consecutive manner. If an editor points to a change, and then ignores a similar one, the translation will lose in professionalism.

Editors who are not confident enough about a particular translation and still do not have a will to do a research on the net, may decide to ignore this possible problem. The consequences of such a “minor” omission can be very serious. Every kind of skipping problems during revising may negatively have an impact on a final piece. Thus, keeping attention to quality and details is an important characteristic for anyone who wants to be a translation editor.

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We are an ISO qualified translation agency in Amsterdam offering high quality, professional translation services in and from all languages of the European Union and from the most important non EU countries.

Our translation work is appropriate for any business and organization that needs to communicate successfully with an international audience, workforce or customer base. It is important to have a translator who has your company’s interest at heart. This is another reason that so many companies choose NBT translation services, because at our company, your business comes first.