What is the difference between proofreading, text processing, copy editing, language editing, and content editing?
Proofreading, text processing, copy editing, language editing, and content editing refer to the many different ways to review and edit existing texts. However, there is often confusion between the terms, as you will soon notice. At times one is taken to mean the other, and at other times they mean the same thing. The boundary between the concepts is blurry, and their definitions may differ slightly depending on who you ask.
This article seeks to rectify this situation and shed some much-needed light on the difference between these terms. We aim to clarify their definitions to help you better understand each concept when you require language and text services.
What is proofreading?
Proofreading is a review of the text at its most superficial level and includes checking grammar, sentence structures, spelling, and idiomatic expressions. It does not address the content or disposition of the text. Proofreading is beneficial for all types of texts to ensure they are linguistically correct and easy to understand.
What is text processing?
Text processing goes one level deeper than proofreading. In addition to checking grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and idiomatic expressions, it also checks for consistency, logic, and common thread. Text processing includes adapting the text for the specified target group or culture and performing a coherence check on industry terminology and company-specific guidelines or wishes.
Text processing is, in other words, a complete review of a text. The texts are reviewed from all perspectives and levels to ensure that the content is coherent and makes sense in its intended context.
What is copy editing?
The definition of copy editing varies slightly depending on who you ask and is sometimes used as an umbrella term including all types of textual processing. However, it may also refer to a specific text editing which includes shortening, disposing of, or highlighting things from the text.
Novoterm’s definition of copy editing aligns with the latter definition. Copy editing involves reworking the text’s length, format, and disposition based on its specific purpose. The goal can, for example, be to rewrite a company presentation into an article to publish on the company’s blog. Copy editing strives to maintain the essence and tonality of the original text and at the same time adapt it to another channel or target group.
What is language editing?
Language editing is an umbrella term including all the different ways of reviewing and improving texts, such as proofreading, text processing, or copy editing.
We offer language editing services for existing texts or translations between over 40 languages.
What is content editing?
Content editing is often regarded as a synonym for language editing. However, language editing is sometimes described as reviewing a text from a linguistic perspective, whereas content editing also reviews the content itself, i.e., you do a fact check.
We generally treat content editing as a synonym for language editing, as long as the customer does not explicitly want anything else.
Still confused? Contact Novoterm for more information
Contact us whenever you need help with translation, language editing, proofreading, or project management for your text and communication production activities. Regardless of what terms and definitions you are used to, we can provide the specific service you need.
“The text is written for online promotional purposes. The opinions expressed are the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Novoterm.”