Although clients are not familiar with this acronym, TEP is a cornerstone of most translation agencies’ normal work flow. It simply refers to the three most common steps of a translation project: translation (translation of the text) + editing (text editing) + proofreading (review of target text). These three steps are essential for a high-quality final result.
Every translation agency that provides quality translations must inevitably follow these three steps. Some agencies misleadingly offer only one step (translation, obviously, without any quality control. In this example, the file is translated and sent directly to the client). Others, however, offer two of the three steps: translation and editing (which offers a level of quality that is a little better), or the simple translation and proofreading (in this case the target text is not directly compared with the source text, which may lead to problems of quality).
Why is proofreading important, or rather, why it is important to follow all three steps? A proper TEP sequence ensures superior quality. The proofreading of a translation does not guarantee quality, since the text does not undergo editing. A proofreader of a target text that does not check the source text and, therefore, does not know whether a sentence is true to the original text. He or she only verifies that it is legible and has no grammatical errors. The quality of the text, however, is not assured. Therefore, it is necessary to perform the proofreading only once the text has been edited. In addition, when working with files that require design work (e.g. PDF files that, once translated, need to go through an intermediate step of Desktop Publishing) it is essential to make a comparison that works to detect any failure, formatting problems, grammatical errors, etc.
When hiring a translation service, ensure that the agency complies with these 3 basic steps so that the quality is guaranteed. Otherwise, it is likely that the result you receive is not the one you expected.