In many businesses, product specialists or account managers write texts for brochures, websites, mailings, etc. But although they may know everything about the relevant subject, they may not be the creative writing specialists to produce the kind of texts you have in mind. In addition, if they write in English and this is not their native language, you cannot be entirely sure that the language they produce is entirely correct and without any traces of their own mother tongue. For cases like this and more, we offer our editing services.
- Correction and revision of existing texts
- Full redaction or creative editing of existing texts
Of course we are happy to combine our editing skills with our translation skills – see our page on Transcreation and Copy Adaptation.
Keep it simple?
There are many writing guides that advise you to keep your texts as simple as possible, so that they are easy to understand. But according to Jan de Jong, an expert on speeches and presentations, oversimplified language is not appropriate in more formal contexts. It can even come across as a bit ludicrous. Linguists and other language experts have concluded that increased simplification of language use can lead to misunderstandings and loss of comprehension. 'Effective' and 'simple' are not always synonymous.
Johan Cruijff famously introduced new phrases and sayings into the Spanish language. Thinking of a Dutch saying, he once explained that “Una paloma no hace verano” – no Spanish-speaking person ever thought that it did! His frequent use of the literal translation “En un momento dado” was hailed by the El País newspaper as an entirely new approach to the Spanish language.
There are entire websites dedicated to corrupted languages such as ‘Engrish’ (English as produced by Asian-language speakers) and ‘Dunglish’ (English by native Dutch speakers). Cuijff’s great rival Louis van Gaal has been adding quite a few examples to the great store of Dunglish recently (“That’s different cook!”).
Amusing as all of this is, this is not how you want to present your brand or your products. Let us help make sure you strike the right note in any language.
The Dutch more frequently draft business and other correspondence in English, but they are not always completely confident about their linguistic abilities. At Overtaal, we have noticed growing demand for the editing of English texts. Contact us to inquire after our service offerings in this regard.
Correction / Revision
Editing can range from simply fixing all objective errors (such as spelling and grammar mistakes) to turning your text into one that is a pleasure to read, is completely clear and uses consistent terminology. Would you like us to edit a text for you? If you send us your text, we can make an accurate estimate of how long it will take. This will depend on the quality of the text and your requirements.
This service can also be applied to texts you would like us to translate. The service then has the double benefit of providing you with an improved, usable source text and facilitating the translation process.
Creative editing is all about what you want to accomplish with your text. Do you want to explain something as clearly as possible? Establish a brand image? Introduce a new service combined with a call-to-action? Our creative editors have just the right copywriting skills to take your texts – both source texts and translations – and bring them to life.
One possible application for this service is rewriting technical, jargon-filled material into something that can easily be understood by your target audience.