Are you a business that has or aims to have an international customer base? Do you need perfectly written English but don’t feel confident producing it? Do you feel that sitting down and producing written content is as tedious as doing your laundry? Then you need a copy editor.
The Babel fish is a small, yellow fish that immediately and automatically translates any language for you once placed in your ear. This may sound extremely useful but sadly, it only exists in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, while the Babel fish may be fictional, the need to communicate in this increasingly globalised world is very real, particularly for companies that want to reach an international customer base. To meet this need, English has been adopted as the lingua franca of the 21st century. While there are a lot of advantages to this, it can also present challenges as companies may neither be used to nor enjoy writing in English, particularly for an international audience. These problems are only further compounded for companies that do not originate from an English-speaking country but need to operate in English to access the global market. Luckily, copy editors exist.
In Douglas Adams’ universe, a copy editor would probably live inside the Babel fish as some sort of tapeworm. It would process and perfect the language and provide a final version for the fish to transmit to its host. In reality, a copy editor takes a text and checks it for grammatical errors, syntactical issues, spelling mistakes and incorrect terminology. They also perform any stylistic edits needed and can rewrite segments completely if necessary. In Norwegian, copy editing is called språkvask, which literally translates to “language wash”. This is quite an apt description of a copy editor’s work, as the result is a sparkling-clean text.
Here’s a little insight into the copy editing process at Samtext. After you have written your text and sent it to us, our professional and experienced copy editors take the time to consider how the language is used, the structure of the text, its overall context, its place of publication and its purpose – all the things that need to be taken into account before editing, in order to decide how best to improve the text while maintaining the company’s voice. We also consider the target audience as, in our experience, companies producing their own texts tend to use industry jargon and assume that their audience has the same understanding of a topic as they do, which is not necessarily the case. Therefore, our copy editors also thoroughly research the subject area of the text and communicate closely with the client in order to correctly render or explain any specialised terms or ambiguous language.
All our copy editors have the language of the text they are editing as a mother tongue, which is particularly important for fluency and naturalness of speech. The text you receive back will read as professionally as if it had been written by one of our own copywriters, maintain your company’s specific voice and fulfil its intended purpose.
At best, poor English can deter potential clients and cause existing ones to raise a sceptical eyebrow. At worst, it can completely undermine your brand’s image and reputation. We appreciate that consistently producing flawless language is not easy. However, until a tapeworm inside a yellow fish living in your ear can do the job for you, ensure that your language content is consistently spotless and squeaky clean by making copy editing a priority.