It’s often thought that being an experienced translator makes you a better editor. This is certainly true, but it can also work the other way around. In this blog, I’ll discuss the various ways in which experience as an editor can improve the quality of your translations.

  • First, editing allows you to improve your attention to detail. As an editor, one of the key skills you develop is the ability to always be on the lookout for potential errors or stylistic issues, no matter how small! This eye for the tiniest of details can be carried across to your translations and raise the quality of your work.
  • Next, when editing, you have the opportunity to learn from other translators. Because you’re constantly working with a variety of translators, you’re exposed to a wide range of different approaches and styles. You may discover a solution to a particularly troublesome term or phrase in your source language(s), or you may take inspiration from the different ways in which translators adapt the syntax to produce a more natural destination text.
  • Conversely, you gain a greater awareness of the aspects of your source language(s) that can cause translators to stumble. These may include false friends, tricky grammatical structures, or culture-specific concepts. Being aware of these pitfalls can help you to avoid them in your own translations.
  • Also, as an editor you become accustomed to working closely with particular style guides. This experience of conforming to a set of rules can vastly improve the consistency of your translations and ensure that they require less editing.
  • Finally, editing experience can help you improve your written communication skills in your destination language. As an editor, you’re constantly looking out for grammatical errors, inapt word choices, or anything that may prevent the target text from being as clear or as fluent as it could be. A heightened awareness of the intricacies of your target language can make your translations more accurate and readable.

We hope this short blog has been useful in demonstrating some of the transferable skills that can be developed through editing experience and how they can be applied to improve the quality of your translations!