The Value of Quality Editing

Many people and companies shop for translations based on price from the translator without thinking of the cost of not hiring someone that can provide quality translations. However, you sometimes get what you pay for.

Cheap Prices for Translations

When a client chooses a translator based on their price only, they often get what they pay for. We have seen many cases where clients chose a freelance translator in another country because they got a price half of what an experienced translator asks.

Often, when choosing translators in this way, the client ends up with someone who may speak both languages in the pair, but are not fluent in both pairs. This lowers the quality of the translations provided, and extra cost goes into bringing the translation up to the needed standards.

Extra Cost Editing of Lower Quality Translations

The extra costs may include:

Substantive (developmental) editing

This is the most intensive form of editing. Changes made in the document might include structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistency. Changes in the document can include removing or adding sentences, moving paragraphs, or rewriting, condensing, or expanding the text. Blocks of text may be moved from one section to another.

Copy editing

This is what most clients are referring to when they say they need a translation “proofread.”

Copy editing is when the editor corrects problems of grammar, style, repetition, word usage, and jargon. Copy editing is more inexpensive than Substantive editing because the turnaround time is much shorter.


Proofreading is the lightest form of editing. Minor errors that are found in the document are corrected. These errors include:

  • Errors of grammar and style (such as verb tense, units of measure, and date/time format)
  • Capitalization and punctuation errors (e.g., the use of commas, semicolons, colons, periods, dashes, and apostrophes)
  • Spelling and word usage errors (e.g., to/too, affect/effect)


With a formatting project, the editor amends document text to make sure that it complies with the required format, such making sure a birth certificate looks like the original document.


When a client asks for a review, the editor may provide a short diagnosis of the document that highlights the areas where changes might be most beneficial. Criticisms that are likely to arise during peer review, such as repetitive, ambiguous, or incomplete information, will be noted. A review includes proofreading at no charge. It does not, however, include modifying the original translation.

Standard Editing at Klimova Translation Services

Klimova Translation Services does in-house editing on all translations we do, prior to delivery. They are done by a second linguist, so the editing is done in an objective way. This ensures we deliver high-quality translations every time. We also stand behind our translations.

If a client has questions on why we used certain terms or has reasonable change requests, we will gladly provide a response and make reasonable changes at no extra cost.

When a client asks us to proofread and edit another translator’s work, we do not justify our charges by falsely calling stylistic changes “errors.” If the other translator did a good job, we will tell you that.

See our services here.

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