Can Non-Native English Speaking Editors Edit an English Manuscript Effectively?

Being a Filipina, I'm often asked if I am capable of editing a manuscript written in English. Many writers feel more comfortable with a "Native" editor. It's understandable, the doubts. Surely, if English is the editor's native language, they'd be better in English, right? Ummmm....

If you asked me to write a book in my native language, I couldn't even if my life depended on it. Well, I could, but it wouldn't be 'grammatically sound' if we use the standards of my high school teacher. We're so used to the language that we don't give it a second thought.

On the other hand, a second language is learned. So, you're more conscious of usage, spelling, grammar, tenses, etc., etc.

The thing to remember when choosing an editor is that we don't even have to be writers to efficiently edit a manuscript. I can't imagine myself writing the books I've edited. But we do have to understand what makes a book highly readable.

Editors are meant to polish and improve on what YOU'VE written. To present your writing in the best light. So, maybe non-native English editors don't use words in the same slangs as natives. But like I said, we're not writing... you are. The words are already written. 

It doesn't matter where an Editor was born. What matters is their level of education and experience. It would be a bonus if your editor LOVES to read, because they'd know the qualities of a good book, and edit your manuscript accordingly. Find someone who will care about the story you've written. Don't assume that just because they charge higher, they're better. Don't assume that everyone who is an English Major will know how to edit a book.

Editing and proofreading are skills... and some will be better at it than others.

Pick an editor who will take the time to understand what you're trying to say, and edit without changing your writing voice. After they're done editing, does it still sound like your book? Hahaha

You know why editing is the most expensive part of self publishing? Because editors turn your manuscripts from amateur to something more readable. It doesn't matter how good your story is if it's riddled with errors. A sloppy book is an amateur book, and no one will take it seriously. 

Native or from another planet... those are not what matters. If they can write and speak in English fluently, loves to read, cares about your book, is passionate, meticulous, educated, experienced and affordable, then you've found the greatest friend you can hope for as a writer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!