Business Translation Center

How to find the perfect proofreader – and why your business needs one

by OFER TIROSH 05/06/2019

Every communication that your business sends out should be word-perfect, in order to present an ultra-professional image. Whether it’s your website, a sales brochure or a letter to an important new client, each item should be the best that it can be. That’s why proofreaders are so important. 

What is a proofreading service?

A proofreading service will fix errors of punctuation and grammar in order to make your documents more readable. Proofreading and editing services can also improve the language, style and tone of your work in order to enhance the user experience. 

In a business context, proofreading services provide that final polish that documents need before they are circulated more widely. This is particularly important if a document has gone through several iterations or been worked on by numerous different people, as the proofreader can apply a fresh pair of eyes to the task and spot any inconsistencies, as well as linguistic amendments. 

Why can’t I proofread my own work?

If you’ve got a good grasp of grammar and are confident in the professionalism of your writing, it can be tempting to forgo business proofreading services, but it’s never a good idea to proofread your own work. Here’s why:

"It deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

Based on research by Cambridge University, provided the first and last letters of a word are correct, the human brain has an impressive ability to read the word that it thinks should be there, rather than the word that is actually there. This is particularly true where only one or two letters have been jumbled up. 

When you’ve worked on a document for a long time, you likely know precisely what it should say. It’s therefore very easy for your brain to overlook typos and even entire missing words when you read the document back. A professional proofreader, however, comes to the document afresh and is trained to spot these types of errors. 

Where can I find a local proofreading service?

One of the many wonderful things about the internet is that it brings a huge range of services directly to your business. Online proofreaders can therefore act as local, responsive services to clients spread around the world. 

Hiring a proofreader through an agency is a good place to start. The agency will have a tried and tested team already in place and will have an established system for everything from the initial hire to making payments. They will also be able to organise a replacement proofreader, should the individual working on your documents fall ill, meaning that there is less chance of a delay to your project. 

What skills will a proofreader bring to my business?

An experienced proofreader brings a superb level of linguistic ability to your business documents. They also have exceptional attention to detail and an eye for mistakes, meaning that even the smallest of errors shouldn’t escape their attention. 

Heard enough?

If you’re ready to get to grips with the proofreading of your business documents, Tomedes’ professional proofreaders and editors can help. Why not give us a call to discuss your needs and find the perfect solution? And if your business could benefit from more language services, why not check out our other articles for inspiration on where (and how) to begin?