Text Revision and Optimisation
I offer different types of text revision:
Proofreading includes spelling, punctuation and grammar. I check the spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, hyphenation and grammar of the text and correct all errors. Normally, I send you your text as a Word document with tracked changes or as an annotated PDF. So you can see what has been changed or needs to be changed. The service is charged by the hour.
Copy editing (also known as copyediting and manuscript editing) is the process of revising written material to improve readability and fitness, as well as ensuring that text is free of grammatical and factual errors.Wikipedia
Copy editing includes all services and checks of proofreading and, in addition, your text is put through its paces in terms of content:
- Is the style appropriate and in line with the text type?
- Is the wording typical for the type of text and the subject area?
- Does the text address the target group appropriately, for example as professional readers or as laypeople?
- Is the red thread recognisable and the argumentation coherent and cohesive?
You will receive the edited texts either as a Word file with tracked changes or as an annotated PDF. Usually, I explain the corrections that relate to the questions above in a comment. Moreover, I suggest alternative wording in further comments.
The proofreading of scientific papers includes further examinations that relate specifically to this type of text. This includes checking the conformity and consistency of source citations and checking the weighting in the argumentation in relation to the conclusion, for example.
I proofread master’s and bachelor’s theses at a reasonable flat rate to support students.
For translations, the relevant standard DIN EN ISO 17100 “Translation services” introduces the concept of “revision”. According to the standard, revision is the bilingual review of a target language text in comparison with the source language content for suitability for the agreed purpose. I offer this special type of text revision to my colleagues.
Beyond proofreading and copy editing, I offer my clients the optimisation of their German texts. This may involve rearranging the text, rewording whole sentences or even paragraphs as well as adding or deleting text. These measures can aim at a specific goal such as SEO, for example, or can simply be intended to improve the text and make it easier to read or more suitable for its purpose.
In many companies, employees who have no linguistic education are supposed to write technical texts. During their editing work, time pressure and lack of practice in formulating may make life difficult for them. Completing the text usually takes much longer than expected and the results may fall far short of expectations.
Do you know these problems?
- The formulations are bumpy!
- You are unsure about spelling and punctuation.
- You have the feeling that the text does not really “get across” what you wanted to say.
- The red thread is missing, because the text was “assembled” from other existing texts.
This is unsatisfactory – however, there is no time for long follow-up treatment and often people shy away from additional costs. It would be a shame to publish texts with these shortcomings. That is why I offer text optimisation as an additional service.
How do I proceed when optimising a text?
When translating in my everyday work, I transfer the meaning of a text in a source language to a text in a target language. The reader in the target culture should feel addressed in the same way as the reader of the source text. It is essential to work out the text’s message completely and comprehensively and, if necessary, to clarify it with the client in order to be able to formulate the target text unambiguously and precisely.
These translation skills are very helpful when optimising texts. Before applying any changes, I analyse the text. If necessary, I restructure it, sharpen the formulations and correct any spelling, punctuation, grammatical and stylistic errors, as in proofreading.
I try to preserve the author’s writing style and manner of expression as much as possible so that he/she will recognise his/her text after the optimisation.
For years, I have been practising this form of text revision very successfully with some clients. Just try it out. If you have any German texts you are not happy with, please send them to me and ask for a quotation.