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Attention to Detail

Being a good translator also means being good at revising documents. Attention to detail is pivotal when revising and proofreading a document. Here are tips that may help improve your revision and proofreading skills:

1.      Find a time when your concentration level is at its peak. I work best in the morning.

2.      Limit visual distractions in your document. If your document is crammed with pictures, copy and paste the text in a separate document. Focus on details such as spelling, typography, grammar and punctuation, and not on the visual appearance of the document.

3.      Change the font and increase the font size. Use an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. Double-check dates, numbers, names, etc.

4.      Use spell check. I use the writing assistance software Antidote from Druide informatique Inc.

5.      Read the text slowly and aloud.

6.      Print your document and use a pencil or a ruler to guide your eyes through the text, one word at a time.

7.      Let it rest. Leave your document aside and come back to it later (an hour, a day, ...). This will help you disconnect from the text and read what is actually written, not what you remember to have been written.

You cannot correct errors if you don’t see them. Find a process that works for you. And remember, focus on the details.