The Difference Between Revising, Editing and Proofreading

The language professionals employ a variety of words that describe their work. We’ve discussed some of the terminology in the course of a earlier blog post. In this article, we’ll go deep into three words that can be misunderstood or are used interchangeably: revising, editing and proofreading. This article will explain the distinction between the three methods and the best way to decide what one to request from the language service provider you use.

What Is Revising

If we speak of revisions within the industry of translation (also occasionally referred to reviewing) generally, we are referring to the revision that is bilingual or comparative. The process of comparative revision is a crucial stage in the process of translation. This is when we closely compare lines of the source text with the translation text in order to be certain that our translations are precise and that no crucial information has been left out or mistranslated. It is also possible to fix any issues by ensuring consistency or style in time.

The translations at OXO the translations are reviewed at least two times; the initial by the translator, who double-checks his own draft before they submit the translation (we term this “self-revision”), and the second revision is done by an independent reviser, who will give a fresh set of eyes on the translation. We have a large number of full-time workers who are essentially in charge of revising other people’s translations.

What is Editing

If we’re talking about editing it’s usually of unilingual revision. This means that we’re not comparing a manuscript to one another. There are several styles of editing, based on the stage that a text is in and the amount of input required by the writer/client editors. For a breakdown into three types, there is structural editing, stylistic editing or copy editing.

Structural Editing

As well as being known as Content editing, substantive editing, or manuscript editing, structural editing is a process that occurs at the beginning of the process of writing, following the draft has been completed. Editors make suggestions or adjustments that might include changing the order of sentences in the text, cutting it up or adding complete sentences, even if not paragraphs. It is possible to suggest the rewriting of entire parts of the text when required. The aim is to make sure the text is written according to logical sequence and that the most crucial messages get the greatest weight.

It’s not difficult to imagine that the process of structural editing does not play any significant aspect in the translation process because translators are expected to adhere to the text they are translating and to not alter the structure of paragraphs. A translator can offer suggestions to the customer in the event of a structure-related issue in the text. Also, we offer editing as well as editing at OXO If this is the type of service you’re looking for.

Stylistic Editing

The term stylistic editing, as the title suggests, is the process of changing the appearance of text. In order to ensure that the text flows smoothly, that the message is clearly understood and that the language and tone are appropriate to the target audience, the medium and its intended purpose. It could involve:

  • Removing jargon by the language of plain speech
  • simplifying complex syntax and making sentences that are long and complicated more concise.
  • Replacing formal words by informal ones, and vice versa based on the tone you want to achieve.
  • Removal of the ambiguities
  • Ensure that you use the language that is inclusive

Editing style is a crucial element of the translation process it can be done at the same time in a bilingual revise or in a subsequent process after going through the translation several times to verify its accuracy in relation to how essential design is for the particular type of content. The business’s “About Us” boilerplate that’s will be appearing everywhere. We’re going to check that the message sounds fantastic. Internal memos informing employees to take their food waste from the fridge of their workplace on Friday? Don’t overthink it.

Copy Editing

Editing copy is specified in the words of Editors Canada as “editing to ensure correctness, accuracy, consistency, and completeness.” It encapsulates:

  • ensuring proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage
  • Examining consistency in terms and capitalization
  • Make sure that the client’s style guideline and glossary is adhered to
  • Making sure that links work

What is Proofreading

The term “proofreading” is often used to describe “proofreading” to describe copy editing, as described in the previous paragraph. Both terms are employed to refer to the same thing. One of the main differences between proofreading/copy editing and different forms of revision or editing is that during the point of proofreading, we rectify things that can be considered to be objectively incorrect.

It is the final stage prior to a text being printed. In addition, to copy editing, proofreading also involves making sure that final proofs are properly formatted. The proofreaders will then review the document in comparison to the manuscript that has been edited or to a copy deck, and ensure that there are no missing pages and line breaks are placed correct and the page numbers are in line with the table of contents and so on.

But Wait, What’s Post-Editing?

We are glad you asked. machine translator post-editing (MTPE) is basically identical to the concept of revising by comparison, but the text was processed using a computer, not a person. This means that it may require some extra work as compared to a human translation as well as we have to keep an eye out for various kinds of mistakes that humans is likely to make. As an example, a computer translation could keep on repeating errors made in the original text, whereas could be been able to identify and correct. The objective of MTPE is exactly the same that is to ensure that your translations are precise as well as that it is natural and the register and style of writing are suitable for the audience it is intended for.


It’s clear that there’s lots of overlap in the terms revision, editing, and proofreading. And experts in the field are likely to refer to these words interchangeably or aren’t sure the meaning of these terms. Therefore whenever you request services, it’s recommended to specify the needs you’re expecting and what you want (e.g. “please improve the style and structure of this text” or “only correct mistakes like spelling and grammar”). In case you’re unsure the level of care the text you’re writing requires, simply inquire! Our experts in language are willing to offer their expert suggestions.=

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