Proofreading is a challenging task all by itself. Now, what if you are proofreading something you’ve translated, or that isn’t written in your native language. ESL proofreading certainly adds some new challenges. German, Spanish, and French are three of the most common languages in the world. Here, we’ll focus on some difficulties you might face proofreading these, and how to get help. What if you speak another language? Some advice here will still apply to you.
What is Involved in Proofreading
If you’re attempting German proofreading, or any other language for that matter, your end goal is the same. You’re still verifying that the document is correct, and adding some final fixes to perfect it. You won’t be changing the structure or improving arguments. Instead, you’ll be focused on punctuation, grammar, spelling, capitalization, word use, and transitions.
What Are the Challenges
When you’re proofreading a language that isn’t yours, or are working on a document translated from another language, you’ll have some additional considerations. For example, when proofreading in Spanish you have to keep in mind that this language allows run-on sentences. That’s different from English where it’s generally thought that one sentence should express one idea. As you might imagine, that creates some extra work. Here are some other issues to consider:
- Your word choice could be thrown off if you use machine translation.
- Subject verb agreement is often quite different.
- To proofread French and other languages you must take the additional step of comparing to the original document.
- Near native level fluency is required for best proofreading results.
As you might imagine, this process is very challenging if you are a language student writing and proofreading in a language you are just learning. The same is true for ESL students who are used to writing in Spanish, for instance, and now, instead of working in Spanish, must proofread in English.
Can I Proofread and Then Translate?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. You’ll need to leave your original document as is, translate it, then use the original as a bit of a roadmap. That way, you can identify where the translator may have used a word that doesn’t really fit, or where sentences simply don’t work the way they were formatted. Keep in mind that if you use a human translator, these mistakes are much less likely to happen. Free online translators are nice, but they aren’t ‘smart’ enough to know what you are trying to communicate. So, you must plan on using that original document as a guide.
What About Proofreading Help for ESL?
There are professionals who can help you with the additional challenges of proofreading in other languages. As you might imagine, it’s helpful to have a native speaker review your document. They’ll understand the unique rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. that you may not. They can also help ensure that you haven’t lost anything in translation as far as word choice goes. This is very helpful when you want to be sure your overall message is communicated correctly.
Finding The Best Companies
Students who want help from proofreading services must work to find the best websites for affordable proofreading services online. This means taking into consideration quality, reputation, pricing, discretion, and security. To do this, you’ll have to do quite a bit of research. That can be time-consuming and stressful.
Fortunately, this is also where we can help. Our team has already researched many services that offer proofreading. We’ve looked into their pricing, examined the quality of their work, and talked to students who have used their services. We’ve verified that they use fluent writers. Further, we’ve also identified the companies that you should avoid.
Take some time to ensure that your papers are perfect in any language. Feel free to look at our reviews before you make your final choice.
Posted by Diana B.