Novel Proofreading – Invest in the Characters

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We completed the first phase of a Simplified Chinese to English novel proofreading project a few days ago. Novel translation has its unique challenges not only with language accuracy but also with its cultural context. As we were proofreading instead of translating with this project, we had to take into account the translator’s preference to use certain words and phrasing. Was it a personal choice or was it conducive to the narrative?

For novel proofreadings, we usually go through three phases. The first phase was to ensure its grammatical accuracy. The second phase was to facilitate the narrative flow by eliminating extraneous words. The third phase was to identify character traits and invest in their unique quirkiness to bring them to life. It was our firm belief that well-developed characters whom readers could identify with would make the story compelling and the narrative coherent. We were careful that all the editing stayed true to the translated meaning.

Our client requested Track Changes on WORD for our editing. It is a feature under the Review tab on WORD which could track any changes made to the document. Comments could be added to explain the changes. We have found a great refresher tutorial for anyone interested in proofreading and editing. The tutorial is very well-crafted by Erin Wright with easy-to-follow steps.

Our client was happy with our efforts. We are looking forward to the next chapters.

I’d like to recommend Bonnie Wong as she was very easy to communicate, punctual and serious to all my requests; her work, of course, is of very high quality too. She has been very helpful in my project. – Y.L., Hong Kong