Our mission (should you choose to accept it) is to provide you with life-enhancing language services. You might be an academic, an entrepreneur, an NGO, an international organisation, a student, a publisher…
in fact, you could be absolutely anyone who wants to get published, increase their client base or enhance their image and reputation.
We can work on anything from your thesis, research paper or book to your marketing and publicity documents, website or tweets. Some of our clients have English as their mother tongue, others Spanish – the team can communicate fluently in both languages – and others are from myriad countries where English is used as the lingua franca in academia, international development and business.
You can rest assured that we will not try to convince you to use our services if, after discussing your project with you, we decide that we cannot currently make your dreams come true. If you feel from the outset – from browsing this website – that your needs are not covered by our current range of services, please get in touch all the same, as we might be able to recommend a colleague who has the skills you’re looking for.
“Inside every good piece of writing there’s a better, more beautiful piece just bursting to get out.”
How is copy-editing different from proofreading?
Copy-editing is what many people refer to as proofreading, but in these days of electronic spelling and grammar checkers there is very little call for simple proofreading, except from publishers. A proofreader will check your document for incorrect spelling, grammar and punctuation. This is usually the “proof” – a document that has already been prepared for publishing, and might be compared against the original for omissions and formatting errors. A copy-editor will do much much more, and will work on your “copy” – generally the document/content before it is submitted, posted or published anywhere.
A copy-editor will not only check your spelling but check that certain words are spelt consistently throughout, for example where there are differences between UK and US English. She will check that the names of organisations, publications and legislation are correctly rendered and will work in line with your own style guide, if you or your editors provide one. She will ensure that the logic in your document is coherent, that you do not contradict yourself, that you do not unnecessarily restate facts or arguments and that the cause and effect links you have established are correct. Where it makes for a more readable document, she will join short sentences together, or split up long ones, and will improve your use of vocabulary to avoid repetition or misunderstanding. Your quotations and references will be checked against the originals where possible, and suggestions made, if necessary, for adapting the tone of your language for the specified target audience. A copy-editor will also cross-reference the data in tables and graphs with their descriptions in the text…
We could continue, but we’re sure you get the picture. Each document is different and will therefore be checked for different things, and if you wish us to look out for something in particular we will be happy to take instructions from you. The final product will respect your artistic integrity – the changes we make will just enable your own voice to come across more clearly and convincingly.
What will you receive from us?
We will return your document to you with all the changes tracked in Word (or Open Office if you prefer) and will add notes/comments where the revision has not been straightforward or where clarification is needed. However, if you prefer only certain kinds of changes to be marked up, perhaps because you do not want the text to be cluttered with minor spelling and punctuation revisions, this is easy to arrange. And we will, of course, respond to any queries you might have about our feedback, at no extra cost.
Why should you bother with a professional translation?
Don’t get us started on online translation tools… Translation is a high-level skill that takes years of training and practice to hone, and no software or app can currently reproduce this expertise. Susy, Megan and Helen are professional translators, not simply people who speak both English and Spanish rather well (and German, a bit of French and the odd word in Japanese). We all have many years’ experience of not just translating texts but working in related fields – we are particularly well-versed in international development and human rights terminology, but can produce professional translations in any number of topics, as we research and consult widely before “putting pen to paper”. If you are commissioning a translation, it’s likely that this is because you are not a professional translator yourself. Therefore, you will not be in a position to judge the quality of the document produced – very risky, if you’re not convinced that the translators are of the highest calibre. Monkeyproof’s belt-and-braces (and elasticated waistband) approach will give you peace of mind.
What does our translation service include?
As you will see on the HOW MUCH? page, you can choose either our basic translation service or our translation and revision option. At all stages in both services, we will maintain communication with you to clarify meaning, where necessary, in the source language and raise any queries we might have. Often, the process of having something translated highlights problems with the original text. Therefore, if you are unsure about the quality of a document that is to be translated from English, we strongly recommend you use our copy-editing service first (unashamed self-advertising!), as this will save you a considerable amount of time, and potentially frustrating to-ing and fro-ing with the author/s in search of clarification. We should also highlight that our translation work is often transcreation, in that we take your concepts and messages and reproduce them in the target language, ensuring that they will elicit the same emotional and intellectual response among your readers, and that they are sensitive to the destination culture and local ideas of humour. This can be particularly useful in marketing and advertising, and also in the field of fundraising, where you often do not get a second chance to secure the vital cents/pence/pesos.
Is your publication in need of an index?
A book without a good index is like a treasure island without a map. A bespoke professional index adds value to a book, helping its readers and convincing potential buyers; it emerges from the book and then leads the reader (a thousand different readers, if you will) back into it. The key to this is selection, decision-making and logical ordering to suit the reader, none of which off-the-shelf indexing software can provide.
What does our indexing service provide?
We offer two different services, depending on what is provided and required. When the author provides a complete list of entries (names, keywords etc) this usually results in an index of between eight and 16 pages, which we will generally produce in five to seven days. If you provide us with only the manuscript, and we are commissioned to extract the list of entries from the entire text, this takes up to two weeks to complete. If you are in need of an index for an e-book, we are happy to discuss this with you too.