I’ve been a kind of part-time perfectionist all my life. I start projects full of enthusiasm and lose interest at the final finishing stage. As a translator, I love, love, love translating. Finding the best words, shaping the perfect sentence – it’s pure pleasure and suddenly, I’m a perfectionist. I will ponder punctuation, mull over metaphors, linger over alliteration, look up, double check – nothing is too much trouble. But then… it’s time to proofread! It’s not so much that I dislike proofreading as that there’s usually another tantalising text waiting to be translated and that’s just much more fun!

It’s a bit like enjoying knitting but hating putting the pieces together to make the finished jumper! Baking a cake and hurrying the decorating.

But I’ve found a method that works for me: I read my translations out loud (luckily I work from home). Apparently, it’s no accident that this works. According to a BBC article (I’ve put the link in the first comment), reading aloud helps your brain actually register the words and has many more benefits, including improving your memory. You do get a bit of a dry mouth but hey, when the proofreading’s done you can celebrate with a drink, right?

Anyone else hate proofreading their own work?