Is it time to hire a proofreader?
If you’re struggling to capture conversations at deposition or the nuances of the language of college students, it might be time to hire a proofreader for your court reporting or transcription business.
The spoken word is different than the written word.
The role of a court reporter to record what is being said. No matter how poor the grammar or how much slang is used, it’s your job to make sure it’s accurate in the transcript. There are inevitably times when it takes another set of eyes to understand what is being said. That’s how you know it’s time to hire a proofreader. [Source]
The rules for proofing transcripts are hardly the same rules your professors used to grade your papers.
Transcript proofreaders are different than say a book editor or college professor. It’s much more varied and frankly, there are a lot more gray areas.
Sometimes it takes someone else to make sure the client is receiving the best version of events. Often it means letting go of the rules of grammar as you learned them in favor of a more conversational dialect.
Proofreader Jean Hammond will be the first to tell you that she’s a self-proclaimed word nerd who has always been interested in the details of the spoken word. [Source]
She believes it’s her job to help her court reporter clients go from being good to great when they hire her as their proofreader. Before hiring someone, she names these characteristics as the most important:
- Knowledge: Not only does a proofreader need to know the traditional rules of grammar and punctuation, they need to know legal terms, transcript formatting, and industry-specific jargon.
- Flexibility: Just because they know the rules doesn’t mean they always apply. Some reporters have a preference for using a lot of commas where others are like my dad who says, “When in doubt leave it [the comma] out.” Hammond notes that there is a balance among guidelines, preference, and readability that impacts the final transcript.
- Communication: Find a proofreader who understands your needs and timelines and is flexible when you need them to be. If you can’t work with them, no matter how highly recommended, find someone who matches your style better.
Hiring a proofreader is like hiring an employee. You have to know their qualifications and if they are a good fit for your business. If you’re seeking to have your work go from good to great, we recommend hiring a Las Vegas proofreader for your next transcript!