Is a second step really necessary?

Is a second step really necessary?

I am often faced with educating people (i.e. particularly clients, but also translators and others) about the need for a second, human-based step for all translations. You will hear some call it “editing” and others “proofreading”, but the concept is the same. For sake of this discussion, let’s call it “editing”.

What reasons can you think of why editing would be an important step for all translations? I can think of a few. Perhaps the most obvious is the fact that we all make mistakes when writing in our native language…believe it or not. Have you ever written something (e.g. college term paper, email, letter, etc.), then put it down for a time to let your brain relax a bit, then returned to it later and found mistakes in your writing, whether it be spelling, grammar, etc.? Not only is doing so a good technique to improve your translation skills, but it is essential when submitting your writing/translation for publication.

It would be like submitting a term paper in college without having your roommate read it first to find errors, give you feedback and make suggestions. If you care at all at the quality of your writing, a second step is essential. Of course, the same applies to all translations. All writing intended for publication should be edited by someone else. Do you agree?

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