Alright propesctive proofers, here is a beginning guide into proofreading manga. Now, while I am able to proof, I don't call myself such because it is not my forte; neither, am i gonna dibble on about how to proof correctly. So ......
Here's a post from uranium- originally intended for frank house staff but its a good guide that anyone can abide by:
Proofreading and Me
The English language is vastly underestimated in the expanse of the business we call "scanlation." The least bits of information are the majority of your worries when proofreading. It is a proofreader/quality checker's job to make sure that correct usage of English is appropriately and adequately used in order for the next wheel in scanlation (generally a second proofreader or a typesetter) to smoothly traverse through your wild and thoroughly enjoyable expedition of reading through the abominable "Engrish" script you receive from your translator. For the lucky few, we have translators who do more than their job and make their English sound as though they are actually English by birth. For the even rarer few, there are translators fluent enough to proofread their own transcript! But for the unlucky buttwipes who snatch away a transcript without fully knowing the full extent of bad spelling/grammar/whatnot your translator has given you; it is only you who takes responsibility for what people read in the final version.
Scanlation Exhibition A: The Simple (and general) process of Scanlation
1. Obtain RAWs from RAW provider (RAW Providers)
2a. Clean RAWs (Editor - Cleaners)
2b. Obtain RAW manga chapter and create translated transcript (translator)
3. Proofread said transcript into a wholly readable and semantically adept form (Proof-reader)
4. Obtain cleaned RAW and proofread transcript and begin process of placing the said proofread and scripted text into the empty (and cleaned) speech bubbles/whatnot in said manga chapter (Editor - Typesetter)
5. View the final product one last time through the eyes of a critique and point out mistakes where seen or improvement suggestions where possible (Quality Checker)
6. If there are any problems with either the English displayed or the level of cleaning on the manga chapter pointed out by the Quality Checker, revise steps from 2b. onwards (everyone)
7. Box and Ship out to leechers (Quality Checker + Manga distributor)
What do I do as a Proofreader?
a) You find spelling mistakes within the script.
b) You find grammatical mistakes within the script.
c) You make sure that every sentence sounds prim and proper when read out and not something out of a telephone servicing machine.
d) You make sure that any background knowledge regarding any one/place/thing is thoroughly researched and worded correctly; because the last thing you want is to throw your readers off the storyline with a little English ****-up that was totally avoidable.
e) You make sure the correct verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, correct form of nouns, pronouns, collective nouns and punctuation symbols are used appropriately for every sentence.
f) You read through your script not once, but a minimum of two times to ensure that you haven't missed anything. The whole point of proofreading.
Now that you have the basics of what a Proofreader has to do... knock yourself out applying for different groups and whatnot... but remember that if this regular routine of exercising your vocabulary and checking what you write is not... regular; your skills could diminish.
Here is how I think a proofread script should read provided that whoever is in charge of typesetting hasn't given you a method on how to submit said proofread transcript (what I would accept judging through the eyes of a HQ typesetter):
Spoiler for Manga - Air Gear:
ikki: Anyways, it something like this!!
ikki: Anyway, it's something like this!
kazu: Wait a minute, hey!!!
kazu: Slow down a minute... hey!
man: And everything is
man: Therefore everything is
(out of screen)
near screen: Ishikaki-sensei, sorry.
someone: What? Was it exposed already??
someone: What? Found out already?
someone: *small letters* 'at's that? *normal letters* Ultra-boring!!
someone: *small letters* That's that? *normal letters* How boring!
someone: Because it's impossible!!
someone: That's impossible!
shinoppu: It came to me when I remembered Kazu-senpai saying that the cell phone is a charm!!
shinoppu: It came to me when I remembered Kazu-senpai saying that his cell
phone was a charm!
shinoppu: I didn't find a thing even when I tempered with the computer...
shinoppu: I didn't find a thing even when I checked with the computer...
shinoppu: I guess that if we bring a stronger electromagnetic wave, the Alpha electromagnetic will disappear, right?
shinoppu: I guess that if we initiate a stronger electromagnetic wave, the
Alpha electromagnetic will cancel out right?
nobunaga: Shinoppu... When did he manage to...
nobunaga: Shinoppu... When did he...
nobunaga: That's great...!!
nobunaga: That's awesome...!
Helpful hints regarding Proofreading:
* There are no more than multiples of three ellipses [...], [... ...], etc.
* What my mentor told me as the "Sticky Finger Syndrome" should not be used. This involves using punctuation symbols more than what is necessary, ie: [ikki: so?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] as opposed to: [ikki: so?!]. It carries the same meaning... less vulgar and more professional.
* It is suggested that you actually read and understand the manga project you proof-read as to gain an idea on how individual characters speak. For example, in Air Gear, Agito is a really badass AT-rider. If he had said: [Agito: Gosh wally Ikki, I really messed up man!] would most probably be: [Agito: **** Ikki, I really messed up man!].
* The Japanese language can include words that mean one thing but requires one or two more synonyms from the English language to explain. This helps alot in relation to the point above. Where "bakemono" simply means "monster" in Japanese... if our characters are surrounded by ghosts... "bakemono" could mean "ghosts/phantoms/spectres" as well. It all depends on the context. So choose your words wisely.
* It is always a good idea to read through the RAW (if you have a slight understanding of the Japanese language like I do) or check with your translator regarding anything you want to have cleared up or anything in the text you don't understand. They gave you their version of the script... the last thing we need is a Chinese whisper erupting in the process of a scanlation project where the proofread product is far from what the translator intended the script to be.
* Don't freak out if you find a script where from the first read-through, you find nothing. Every script has a flaw... you just have to be willing to put in the effort to see it.
* You have the last word over a script... a Quality Checker could also come up to a specialist proofreader concerning a nuance, proverbial sentence or the semantic origins of a specific monologue regarding a character etc. Don't be afraid to raise your opinion amongst the group.
* If you see a sentence that you think could be totally scrapped and re-worded whilst retaining the same meaning... do it! Make sure to go through with your translator to see if the meaning fits the text before you do though. However taking the script into your own hands is nothing new.
* Finally, make sure you ALWAYS read through your script. I cannot stress enough how many newbies I have caught out in proofreading simply missing out on simple mistakes within their script that could have been prevented had they take the extra 5 minutes to simply read through their work.
And with that; I bid you all at FH a good day and pray that my take on proofreading may have enlightened some of you to take this job very seriously... if not moreso than other jobs. We are ultimately the story-tellers here... we make or break the backbone of the manga. So tread this path carefully.