Proofreading consists of ensuring that the translated text in the final layout (Web page, screen shoot or printed document) will produce the intended effect on the reader. Thus, the text needs to sound perfectly natural in the target language but it needs also to contain no spelling or grammar mistakes and to be consistent on the page and document, to create the maximum effect. Very often, it is believe that the translator can do a perfect job but the translator doesn’t see the final product, including graphics, to make sure that the text, the captions and the graphics are all consistent. Finally, often, the person doing the final layout of the translated text doesn’t speak that language and might as well introduce typing mistakes (such as deleting letters, sentences or full paragraphs), so proofreading is there to ensure the final product quality is what is expected, that the French matches the English in term of bold, italics, number of paragraphs, etc, and that, nothing will distract the reader from getting the message initially intended.
When is a proofreading needed
Proofreading is a must when the translator can’t read/see the final file in his CAT tool and the file does have a fancy typesetting (as as Marketing items done in InDesign, manuals in AuthorsIT, website not in HTML files). It should be also done for very sensitive items which much be perfect. Proofreading should always be done in the final document, with the final layout. And as a good measure, the final-final text should be exported and spellchecked to ensure no typos have been introduced by the typesetter inputting the corrections.