Editing vs Proofreading: What’s the Difference?

2021-10-04T17:42:53+00:00 October 4th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Nowadays, there is not much awareness about the level of attention and complexity a translation process entails. Many people think linguists have lost their place and everything depends on machines or CAT tools; however, quality and accuracy, the most required and valued features within the translation and localization industry, cannot be guaranteed by machines. Thus, a project can only be successful if each stage of the process counts on a group of specialists dedicated to assuring those standards.


Editing versus Proofreading

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, both editing and proofreading respond to different stages of a translation project.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, editing stands for the process of making changes to a text or film, deciding what will be removed and what will be kept in, in order to prepare it for being printed or shown. Whereas proofreading refers to the process of finding and correcting mistakes in the text before it is printed or put online.

They both sound pretty similar, right? Let us see these terms in more detail so we can fully understand their purpose.



The editing part of a translation project is a process in itself. Along that process, editors have the responsibility of improving the flow and the overall quality of language use and expression to obtain a smooth and easy-to-understand text.

First, editors work at an overall level. They check the readability of the document, so they focus on form, context, and factual integrity. Once they make sure that step is completed, they go a little further and concentrate on specific terminology and idioms, assuring the text is properly contextualized.

Normally, editors will proceed to pass on their comments and professional suggestions to translators, incorporating preferred glossary terminology and style specifications so they can make all the arrangements. However, in practice, that depends on the translation workflow of the language service provider.



When a document’s editing process finishes, it is time to proofread. That means a native-level proficiency speaker of the target language, familiarized with the glossary and the style guide, will focus his or her attention on finding grammatical errors, omissions, or repetitions to avoid spelling mistakes and potential inconsistencies; i.e, incorrect use of accents, punctuation, quotation marks, umlauts, cedillas, etc. In that sense, this stage does not demand any substantial change.


Why are editing and proofreading services important?

Thanks to the thorough knowledge of language nuances, a trained and experienced editor will immediately be able to identify common grammatical errors that damage important documents and will recognize inconsistencies in spelling, formatting, and meaning.

At the end of this process, proofreading will be the last step that guarantees you receive a polished and high-quality level translation. Both services will save you time and money and will contribute to the project’s completion in a more effective and precise way.

At Win & Winnow, we understand how important it is for an organization to send a message across. That is why we count on specialized teams that possess the expertise and the industry know-how to deliver consistently accurate, cost-effective, and on-point translations. If you want to learn more about our services, contact us!

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