About checking and proof-reading
The goal of checking a translation is to ensure that the translation is accurate, free from errors and written in an appropriate style.
The goal of proofreading is to ensure that the final document is free from errors. Translations that have been typeset by a non-native speaker, should be proofread by a translator to ensure they are free from errors.
Checking and proofreading are generally charged by the hour, and are done on the basis that the translation is essentially perfect. Checkers and proofreaders may reject work which appears to have been poorly translated, and the commissioner should then take this up with the translator.
All translations should be checked and proofread before they go out to the intended readers.
How to commission checking and proofreading
The Institute of Translation and Interpreting maintains a database of translators, most of whom also offer checking and proofreading services. This database can be accessed at http://www.iti.org.uk free of charge. Marjolein Turner-Prins offers checking and proofreading of English documents translated into Dutch or Flemish.
The most common problem with checking and proofreading is where businesses attempt to save money by having a document translated by a bilingual staff member or by putting it through translation software and then requiring it to be “tidied up” by the checker or proofreader. This generally results in the checker having to retranslate the entire document. Not only does this mean that the re-translated document has effectively not been checked and proofed, it also tends to produce a patchy translation. In our experience it can also be more expensive than having the document properly translated in the first place.