Copy editing: linguistic fine-tuning that drives results
The quality of your products and services surely is a top priority for you. To be commercially successful in a B2B environment, you also need high-quality marketing collateral – including compelling copy. Copy that gets your readers’ attention.
Why copy editing?
Spelling mistakes, a missing thread or vague statements – and your readers may be perplexed and irritated. This may prevent them from buying. In the worst case, it has a negative impact on the image of your company and your brand.
Careful copy editing is always worth the while. Not only when it comes to documents with a long-term effect, such as a beautifully designed company brochure. It is also important for any website, e-mail or newsletter you’re drafting. For reasons of search engine optimization, surely. But you are writing primarily for your customers. They should not have to stumble over linguistic hurdles or puzzle over what exactly is meant. Your goal is to get your message across as quickly as possible. And, ultimately, to make your readers want to buy from you.
WORKING ON THE COPY
Each type of copy has its task and its requirements in terms of content, style and formal criteria. Typical questions we talk about in connection with the optimization of your copy:
What exactly is the text about? Who is being addressed? What is the goal?
Is the copy well-structured and clearly laid out?
Do the language level and style suit the target group? Is the terminology correct?
Are the spellings standardized? Is the typography correct? Have your CI specifications been implemented correctly?
EDITING GERMAN TRANSLATIONS
Editing non-fictional texts translated into German? Why, you might ask? After all, we live in the 21st century, in the age of artificial intelligence and machine translation. Admittedly: What these tools can do by now is remarkable. And they are getting better and better. But they have not yet replaced humans. Especially when it comes to technical jargon. And when it comes to establishing correct references to content. Who hasn’t despaired when faced with a bunglingly translated instruction manual?
You don’t have to have every factual text checked. But you do have to check texts that are meant to sell. As a rule, technical translators know the language of the industry. Nevertheless, you should definitely double-check. Because your in-house language usage may differ.
It is therefore important to know the correct technical terms to be able to deliver a precise translation. In such cases, I therefore take a close look at the technical language of your industry (and your company, if applicable) to find the correct German equivalent.
SMALL STUMBLING BLOCKS
Proofreading and editing translations also means using the right idioms. Thanks to the media, Germans have already internalized many Anglicisms. The little word “in” before the year now seems just as normal to us as things that “make sense” (“Sinn machen” in German). We also often “realize” where we should actually “become aware” of something. (“Realisieren” in German actually means “to do” or “to put into practise”.)
The author may want to shine with as many anglicisms as possible. Or it may be an unintentional carelessness. Surely, readers will still understand the content of the text. But ambiguous terms or mismatching images lead to misunderstandings, impede the flow of reading and prevent your message from getting across.
How I work
The scope of editing can be scaled according to your wishes. Usually, proofreading and editing complement each other.
After reviewing a sample copy, I will be happy to provide you with a detailed quotation showing what is included in the scope of work and what is not.
I revise your copy in MS Word® format or – if laid out – in the PDF file. Particularly in the case of more extensive corrections, I am happy to discuss them with the client or author afterwards instead of sending them back without comment. This allows us to resolve any cases of doubt or ambiguity more easily, quickly and effectively.