Proofreading is the last stage in the translation process. It usually takes place after the editing and desktop publishing (DTP) stages. It allows to point out errors that might have been overlooked or introduced during DTP if it was done by a person who does not know French.
Proofreading requires little knowledge of the source language. However, proofreaders must have a perfect knowledge of the target language spelling, punctuation and hyphenation rules, as well as a keen eye for details.
Proofreading consists in checking for:
- omitted paragraphs or blocks of text
- typographical errors
- missing or incorrect accents
- improper hyphenation in words that carry over the next line
- inconsistencies in formatting between source and target documents
This task is usually carried out on PDF files, printouts, or on line. Proofreading comments can be added in a PDF file by using the Note tool in Adobe Acrobat. This tool allows the proofreader to place a note near the text that needs to be corrected. Notes can be deleted later.
Proofreading comments for on-line files can be entered in a Word file, showing the URL of the page that is being proofread, the text as it is displayed on line, followed by its corrected version. Mistakes can also be clearly outlined on a hard copy, using standard proofreading marks.