For an efficient relationship between professionals with different functions related to content, it is important that there is no competition between them. Only one common goal: quality work, done together.

 Translation and revision activities have been the most sought in the market lately.

These professions have very important aspects in their interaction with each other, in order to have a successful professional relationship. The translator and the proofreader should consider what really matters: a perfect text. I do not see the translator and the proofreader as competitors, but as partners.

All translation professionals know how this translator - proofreader relationship can be stressful. A translator is concerned about maintaining the integrity of the content, suffers the pressure of deadlines and the volume, without forgetting all the other challenges of the job.

A proofreader must carefully observe the spelling and grammar of each text and all the details that will be considered by the reader. Moreover, he/she also suffers the same pressures as the translator.

What often complicates this relationship is that when the professional is a novice, he/she feels the need to demonstrate his/her skills and completely mark the translated text in search for "errors". Translators find it so important to maintain the integrity of the content that they forget that, in order to do an effective job, the final text must be understandable for his/her target audience and that sometimes this requires a lot of text adaptation. This occurs in languages with very different structures, as is the case of German-to-Portuguese or English-to-Portuguese translations, or in the case of Latin-based languages, such as Italian and Spanish when translated from or to Portuguese. The proofreader reads the text and does not understand it, feeling the need to make changes and adjustments.

It is in the midst of one job and the other, that differing opinions exist. People have different personalities and backgrounds. Understanding will occur if there is clarity of communication.

Clarity in communication is the result of an objective, professional, direct communication, which renders the quality sought in the end.

Both sides must understand that they are collaborators in a project, not enemies competing to see who is better, who is right. Both have to work together to make the content understandable for their public, spelling and grammatically correct and interesting, attractive, to be read to the end.

In order for this to happen smoothly, is important to consider the following:

  • The translator is human; therefore, subject to error.
  • The proofreader is also human, and also subject to error.
  • Teamwork always requires flexibility, clear communication, focus and a common goal.

Everyone's goal should be that the translated content maintains its essence and still be understood and appreciated within the culture and language into which it was translated.

With this perspective, I understand that if a translator makes a mistake and the proofreader asks for the correction, he/she is only doing his/her job. And if a proofreader makes a mistake or does not understand and asks for changes, the translator's job is to point this out and ask for the correction. Mission impossible?

Our goal:

  • Preserver the essence of the information;
  • Grammar and spelling correction;
  • Clarity and easy comprehension for the target audience;
  • Transmit the original message, regardless of the necessary adaptations.

After all, we are all equally professionals (translators and proofreaders), cooperating for the transmission and dissemination of knowledge, information and culture.

The translator-proofreader relationship does not have to be complicated. We must learn collaboration and mutual respect.