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The Work of an Editor in Translation

The Work of an Editor in Translation

October 1, 2019 By Erica Sunarjo

Translations are a language’s conversion to another language. In the process, editing plays an important role. Translation editing requires refined work, skill, and knowledge, and skilled editors must pay attention to many variables to bring the text they have to perfection. Style and readability are critical to the quality of the end product.

Sometimes, regardless of their knowledge and experience, translators will still lose sight of small details. The job of an editor and proofreader is to ensure that the small mistakes are fixed. Their job is to enhance the final product and deliver a polished translation.

What does a translation editor do?

Many think of the editing process as the “big picture process.” And to get a better overview of the translated piece, editors generally look for the following:

In the process, editors guide their work based on the answers to a series of questions:

Paying attention to those details is the cornerstone of impeccable translations. Especially in bigger translation agencies, where multiple translators work on a single text, editors work to ensure the translation’s consistency.

Core values of translation editing

A stellar translation editor has a series of characteristics that allow them to deliver impeccable services.

Different types of translations need different types of editors

Just as literature translations are not the same as legal or technical translations, translation editing also comes in different shapes and forms. For example, translation editors for legal translations need a good understanding of the terminology of both the source and converted text. There are multiple types of translations, and each of them requires experienced editors working on polishing the converted text.

Final Word

Editing plays a huge role in the translation process. To preserve the characteristics, meaning, and essence of the original text, translating editors have to work for years to master all these aspects.


Photo by Romain Vignes on Unsplash

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