Proofreader’s Dilemma – Preferential Changes

There were times when I was reluctant to take proofreading projects. I considered proofreading a time-consuming work at a low price. In the course of time, I learned that this was a mistake. Indeed, proofreading is a good job – however, provided that you refrain from working with low-quality translators. Fortunately, I am currently interacting just with this kind of people. Regardless of quality, there are always differences between translators. And here comes the dilemma – to perform preferential changes or to leave the stylistic things “I do not like” as they are?

There is no simple answer. It largely depends on translator’s character. If you are a “relaxed type”, you will probably leave the text you are not completely happy with as it is and update serious issues only. If you are a precise person, you will go for the “extra mile” and take the time to make the text satisfying for you – of course, a client might be happy with the previous version…

I started my proofreading efforts as a precise type, but with time, I have slowly moved towards relaxed attitude. I usually do not perform any preferential modifications, unless the style really requires so. On top of it, many clients expressly require to refrain from preferential changes. This brings higher speed, more money, and less stress. On the other hand, I still feel a bit sad that the result of my work is not exactly what I would like it to be.

How about you? It would be interesting to know what other professionals tend to do.

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2 Responses to Proofreader’s Dilemma – Preferential Changes

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