In this issue, Monica Machado, English into Portuguese Translator, is interviewed about her editing services offered for African Portuguese countries, including Angola and Mozambique
Interviewer – You also offer editing services. Can you explain what editing involves?
MM – Editing is defined in the Collins English dictionary as the process of correcting and adapting a text, such as an article or book. In my case, I edit European Portuguese and African Portuguese texts so that they have no spelling, syntax or grammar mistakes and read well. In other words, I work as an external proofreader.
Interviewer – Aren’t authors the best people to proofread/ edit their own work as they know their subjects and audiences?
MM – Authors are key as they create the content and the skeleton of a text. However, authors are not necessarily proficient in the language in which they create content. I work with companies whose writers are experts in social affairs, mechanical areas or environment domains without being proficient in European or African Portuguese. Therefore, those authored documents require editing by someone who is proficient in that language variant.
Interviewer – So, would you say you work with the authors to improve the final text rather than simply correcting it?
MM – Definitely. Most of my clients who contract me for editing services expect that I look at their documents with a fresh pair of eyes, editing the text to read perfectly in European or African Portuguese and be consistent throughout.
Interviewer – As an editor, what kind of powers do you feel you have over the text?
MM – I can do any text changes as long as they keep the original content (i.e. message). I also have to make sure text references are correct, headers and footers match the index and terminology used is consistent throughout.
Interviewer – You mentioned consistency a couple of times. How important is that?
MM – Consistency is very important. Most of the single documents I edit are over 100 pages long and come from different authors. When we have multiple authors in one single document it is very important to make sure that terminology and writing style are consistent throughout, otherwise most attentive readers will feel the text is bitty. In this editing process I also make sure that the text has the correct spelling for European or African Portuguese, depending on the target market, as many Portuguese speakers are not aware of the differences and often think that we only need to remove or insert the so-called silent consonants to adapt the text from one variant to the other. To me editing is a very rewarding task as my clients understand and value my contributions immensely and see me as part of their team.
Mónica Machado is an English into European Portuguese translator, specialised in Oil and Gas, Mining and Geology, Environment, Hydroelectric Power, Renewables, HSE, Shipping and Business Legal Areas, working for Portugal and Portuguese-speaking African countries, such as Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe.
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