Another old idea that I think is very important: We need a group of people to assist the editors of different regions in proofreading our posts. I think this will improve the quality of the site.

Once more, I don’t know how much it would cost. I guess it will be the equivalent of a part time job given to a group of expert readers. Could be students in the final years of languages, or people with experience in editing.

What do you think?

10 thoughts on “Proofreaders…

  1. Paula

    Hola Laura! We already have a vibrant sub-editors group, which is in place to help any editors who needs a hand with editing and proofreading. And they are all volunteers too 🙂

      1. bernardo.parrella

        well, not really…because the quality of our translations, editing, and writing skills can (and should) always be improved, no? in this and similar cases, unfortunately voluteers cannot always match professionals outcome, and that goes for proofreading as wells….there is nothing wrong with that, of course, but we should be aware that working for free and/or simply volunteering as editors, translators, proofreaders is not always the best approach and does not automatically provides the highest quality

  2. Juan Arellano

    My problem with proofreaders is that I also have to proofread them, so it´s extra time added to the production line.

    1. Lenguaraz Post author

      1. @Paula and @Bernardo: I put “discussion over” after Paula’s comment because I thought this was the case for all languages. Later on I found out it was mostly for the English language publishing process.

      1. @Juan, that is not the idea of a proofreader. The proofreader should be the last pair of eyes checking the document. The changes shouldn’t too complicated and they shouldn’t make the editing process more difficult. The idea is to check for spelling mistakes, grammar and syntax. There should be an organization, of course, to avoid making processes too long. But I still think it’s necessary. Those mistakes come, actually, when only one person is in charge of the whole thing. It’s just too much to handle. That’s why newsrooms tend to have teams of people checking the texts.

      I can’t know much about what can be improved in the English language publications (or in German, Malagasy, Italian, Farsi, etc..) but I could suggest a couple of things for the Spanish part, which is the one I understand the most. Maybe not relying too much on a group of proofreaders (that in any case will be good) but also improving our own writing skills could be a nice idea. We could find online workshops for those interested, and include style guides that can help not only with the technical and visual editing process, but also in ways of writing.

      I’m aware of how delicate this subject can be. I know “grammar” and “syntax” tend to cause allergy. Also, telling someone how her or she should write or putting a hand in somebody’s work can be invasive. Writing is a personal matter.

      Nevertheless I strongly believe that syntax and grammar problems can get on the way of the style and that we can come up with nice solutions to improve the quality of our posts.

      In any case, it is also up to all members, when reading the site, to pay attention when we read and give a hand to the editors, authors and translators, and let them know when these little “bugs” get too much on the way of the reading.

      Thank you for participating in this discussion !

      1. Paula

        True, Laura! It is just in English at the moment, I thought you were talking about Global Voices in English.

        I’d back a group of volunteers dedicated only to proofreading. Unfortunately, I don’t think we would be able to pay for it. However, since the new applications procedures for volunteers, we have been able to recruit highly experienced translators and editors, the experience they bring in is remarkable.

        I agree that there is no need to worry about proofreading the proofreader, Juan. This would be like re-baking a cake that is already good. Once you start working with someone, of course you may want to check the first couple of posts, but with some time, you will develop trust and will not have to have a second look every time. Unless, of course, you consider yourself to be the only perfectionist Spanish translator in the world!

        In any case, I think this idea is something we can implement *now*, we don’t need a grant, nor I would consider it ‘innovation’. It is what we should have, anyway! Perhaps for those applying to help with proofreading and editing, it would be good to ask them to have a look at our posts and spot mistakes? I’m sure there will be a few!

        Bernardo, I beg to differ from your point of view. As a professional translator who does a lot of volunteering work, I don’t think I tone down the quality of my input when I am “working for free”, if there is any changes, it is rather the opposite direction, because I will be working as a volunteers on texts of my choice and will be enjoying it much more than a paid assignment. In my old job, where I could not bear the boredom over the texts I had to translate, I often found silly mistakes in old translations, I could just not be bothered to be a perfectionist only for money, I had to have better reasons. Then I left my job when I could not bear it anymore 😉

        I bet many translators take their work just as serious, no matter if it is ‘free’ or paid. I think the clue is to put together a team of professional translators – rather than the occasional blogger who wants to help – who follow good standards, and there have been many of them recently.


        1. Lenguaraz Post author

          Yes Paula! I also agree this is something that wouldn’t go for the innovation grant, but rather that took the floor to steal the momentum ! (Whoahaha 😛 )

          Also, if we’re not able to pay a group of proofreaders, why not giving them a place ? We have authors, editors, translators… we could add a “post” as proofreaders, a team that can check the posts after they’re written/translated and also work with different toolboxes online (pages, dictionnaires, style guides). What I think is that they should have their lines and their place too, and also share and exchange those tools to the authors and translators, so we keep the learning vein going… What do you think ?

  3. Mohamed ElGohary

    Another issue is absence of effective automatic spell checkers for some languages, is there an option to build an engine to make automatic spell checkers with importing open source dictionaries? If they exist?

    1. Lenguaraz Post author

      I just found out that there was a plug in for proofreading in word press, but yes, just in English. Maybe we could research a bit for more possibilities…


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