The importance of a well-written text

Properly composing a text is a process which entails a certain amount of complexity, demanding a great deal of precision and proper training to carry out. Although practically everyone is capable of producing a comprehensible text that passes on a message, in many cases the result is far from what we would consider a well-written text. Even in the media today we see a considerable number of errors, even in texts by journalists or people with the relevant training.
In the field of translation, translated texts must be professional and precise, offering the client the quality required by this type of service. This is why professional translators pay careful attention to every detail of the text, which undergoes a thorough process of editing and proofreading before being considered the final version ready to be returned to the client. But what do we understand by a “well-written text”? What does the editing and proofreading process consist of?

Editing the text

A lot of the time, we refer to the “editing” of the text to include aspects which do not strictly form part of the process, whilst leaving out others that do. Within the process of text editing we can distinguish two types, both of which are important and necessary to achieve a correct final version of the text:

  • Typographical editing: This is the first step in which we eliminate any orthographical or grammatical errors in the text. For example, this includes purely orthographical errors (for example writing “there” instead of “their” or “they’re”); typing errors where there may be incorrect extra letters; or grammatical errors, for example incorrect tense usage.
  • Style editing:Here, we take one step further and attempt to improve the expression, coherence and structuring of the text so that the message is clearer for the receiver and fit for purpose. A text without errors is not necessarily correct: to achieve this, the text must be examined in more detail to see whether its structure from beginning to end is suitable and if the message is conveyed in the desired way. We aren’t talking about changing the individual style of the document’s author, but subtle changes which almost always improve the flow of the text.

Proofreading the text

Although the terms are often confused, the truth is that editing a text must be differentiated from proofreading, given that the two are very different processes. Whilst editing deals with the original text alone, proofreading is the comparison of an original text with its translation into another language. Proofreading consists of checking that the content is the same in both texts, even when the form, structure and expression may be different for obvious reasons.
A translator must therefore thoroughly check that the translated text is loyal to the content and message of the original, guaranteeing that the translation is a copy of the source text but in another language. Otherwise, a text (e.g. a legal text) translated into another language that doesn’t contain the same content as the original could cause significant problems for the client. The same would be true for other types of documents, whether their nature be legal, editorial, medical, scientific, economic, advertising or something different. The proofreading process is that which largely influences the quality of the final text being submitted.
BBLTranslation puts all its effort into guaranteeing very comprehensive editing and proofreading processes. The proof of this lies in the trust placed in the agency by renowned clients, for whom we carry out the editing of web pages or original documents.
In addition, our translation process consists of an integrated service of translation and proofreading for all projects, in order to always ensure that the translated text is loyal to the original.