The power of the written word to influence and teach others is huge. When marketing to new customers, businesses are trying to build authority and position themselves as leaders in a particular industry or sector. From this position, it is then possible to influence prospective customers.
To establish yourself as an industry authority, it’s essential you get the basics right. Grammar must be spot-on and the copy should be free from spelling mistakes and errors. The slightest mistake can completely undermine the trust you were desperately trying to build.
When translating text from one language to another, proofreading carries even more weight. When you’ve gone to the time and expense of translating or transcreating your text for an overseas audience, the slightest oversight can undermine all your hard work. The trust is gone and the customer quickly moves on.
So is proofreading important? Take a look at the following examples and make up your own mind…
The importance of ‘langauge’
It seems the government has become so sick of the criticism it receives that it’s taken the brave move to cut out the middleman and start to parody itself. This is the government’s official press release announcing the new language tests migrants will have to pass to stay in the country – notice anything wrong…?
The government has warned that failure of the English language test could result in deportation, so whoever wrote this press release stressing the importance of ‘langauge’ should probably pack their bags.
The Home Office was quick to acknowledge the incorrect spelling of the word ‘language’, adding: “This was a regrettable typographical error that has now been corrected.” Next time, maybe they’ll do a spot of proofing.
The children are our future
What chance have our children got if the brainiac developers of Lego Harry Potter and the Powerpuff Girls computer games can’t even get the very basics of the English language right? Let’s hope they’re spending more time reading the Harry Potter books than this terrible poster.
Wait just a New York minute!
We’re not exactly sure what a New York minute is, but it must be pretty damn fast if it leads to marketing billboards like this. Reebok is one of the biggest sports brands in the world, but it obviously doesn’t have money to waste proofreading its marketing messages.
Your translation proofreading checklist
While proofreading native language communications might be a simple case of checking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and omissions, translation proofreading is a much more thorough process. The professional translation proofreader should answer the following questions:
- Is the essence of the text conveyed clearly?
- Have the most appropriate words been used?
- Is the word usage and layout consistent?
- Does the translated copy convey the same meaning as the original?
- Is the translated copy culturally relevant?
- Is the translated copy unintentionally offensive in anyway?
- Are time and date formats or currencies appropriate for the target market?
- Does the content follow brand and style guidelines?
- Are the paragraph and sentence lengths appropriate for the medium?
- Are page numbers, indexing and other headings correct?
- Are the images and their captions appropriate for the intended audience?
How can we help?
If you need marketing copy, websites, technical documents and legal copy you can trust to put your best foot forward overseas, please call +44 2392 987 765 today. Our translation proofreading team have the exceptional linguistic qualifications and sector-specific experience to deliver word perfect translations and transcreations in over 200 languages.