TEP (translation-editing-proofreading)

The three most important aspects of translating are referred to as TEP, which stands for translating-editing-proofreading. These three steps are essential for an accurate, high-quality final translation. To deliver a quality translation, one must consider each of these steps one by one. Approaching them in a different order or skipping some steps can result in a poorly written final product.

The first step in this process is translation, which is the rendering of a text from one language to another. Context is extremely important at this stage. The translator should consider not only the language and country of origin but also the language variants within the region.

The next step in the process is editing. This involves comparing the source text with the output text and ensuring that the terminology, grammar, style, naturalness, and adequacy to the target reader are all correct. After the text is translated, editors must verify that the translation is accurate. The editor researches and checks to see if there are better words that preserve the meaning of the passage and the cultural nuances of the original text. Editors should also strive to incorporate extralinguistic conventions and country preferences such as the way dates are written or how government agencies are named. The editor is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the translation is clear and complete. The translated text should appear natural to the native speaker of the target text, as if it were originally written in his language.

Over-editing means making amendments that are purely preferential and have no impact on the meaning or readability of the translated text. Examples of over-editing may involve interventions such as replacing words by complete synonyms, adding optional punctuation, and implementing unnecessary grammatical changes without the original version being incorrect, among others.

Post-editing is used when a human translator edits or revises a text that has been translated by machine translation software. As is the case with any editing work, the professional carrying out this task must be an expert in their field.

Pre-editing is the process whereby a human prepares a piece of text before running it through machine translation. Good pre-editing will reduce or even eliminate the post-editing workload. As with post-editing, the pre-editor is a specialist who can analyse a text from the perspective of a machine translation engine and anticipate potential output errors. The pre-editor will edit the text to reduce sentence length, avoid complex or ambiguous syntactic structures, and ensure term consistency, among others.

The final stage of the TEP process is proofreading. This step guarantees that the text is entirely legible and that it has no grammatical, formatting, or other errors. Projects which require design work as part of the completion will require additional proofreading to ensure they are entirely free from other formatting or design errors which would make the final piece difficult to read. The proofreader focuses solely on the target text.

Sometimes, proofreading can be substituted for review or revision. It means checking the quality and completeness of a translation. Obviously, this is done with reference to the original. One important aspect is ensuring terminological accuracy and consistency. It is important to maintain these three steps, because they facilitate the translator’s work and guarantee the best quality of the final product. TEP can be the best choice for high visibility documents and critical marketing materials, such as brochures, websites, mobile apps, and so on.

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