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Editing or proofreading? The biggest question of all times (for language professionals, anyway!)

Well, yes, there is a difference.

Editing involves checking the target language copy against the source to make sure the translation is complete, correct and adequate. It's the editor who ensures the copy is well-structured, smooth and clear, that the terminology is consistent and the wording is appropriate. If editors see typos and spelling errors, they will automatically correct those as well, but in fact that's the proofreader's job.

Proofreading involves checking the target text alone without comparing it to the source. Proofreaders get to work with spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation. That said, experienced proofreaders will inevitably notice mistranslations, illogical transitions, overlooked allusions and other problems.


Yes, editing and proofreading are interconnected and even interchangeable at times. However, they are very different processes that have different goals, which is why any translation needs both editing and proofreading.

Some use the terms 'revision' or 'review' instead of 'editing' and some use them to refer to both editing and proofreading. If you are not confused enough by this point, all of these services can be jointly referred to as QA (quality assurance), and together with the translation itself, they add up to the mysterious TEP services

(translation, editing, proofreading).

Yes, I offer all three of the TEP services. Happy to improve the quality of your copy for you!

"Editors check the translation

against the original and make sure

it's complete, correct and adequate.

Proofreaders correct the errors

in the target copy."

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