English proofreading course

In Denmark, English is becoming more and more important as the language of business, putting ever-increasing demands on translators and proofreaders to produce perfect texts.  Even so, it is not hard to find linguistic errors in English texts which are the result of interference from Danish. Therefore, proofreaders need high-quality training.

For several years now, Danske Sprogseminarer have been running advanced courses in English proofreading. We are often asked whether we will be offering these English proofreading courses again – and the good news is that we are!

Target group

The English proofreading course is aimed at people who write in English, help others to write in English or are employed as proofreaders. For example, you might work as a:

  • communications officer
  • marketing assistant
  • salesperson
  • translator
  • teacher
  • secretary
  • or be self-employed or freelance.

Whatever your job, it’s important that you have a good grasp of English spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Course content

You will be trained in the use of online tools and in text revision.

You will be taught selected areas of English grammar to ensure that you can spell, punctuate and use syntax correctly.

You will learn to avoid undue interference from Danish in English texts.

You will become better at writing and at improving other writers’ texts.

You will be able to help your company enhance their credibility and professionalism in English.

Discounts

If you are a member of our language network, you are eligible for a 25% discount.

You are eligible to a 15% discount if you are a member of Kommunikation og Sprog, HK or Dansk Magisterforening.

Please note that it is not possible to combine the discounts.

To obtain the discount as a member of our language network, you should tick the box “Sprognetværk” on the registration form.

To obtain the union discount, you should state which of the above-mentioned trade unions you are a member of in the “Comments” box on the registration form.

Dates and homework

In the box below, you can see the dates for the course.

The first four sessions take place at the course site from 9:00 to 16:00.

The fifth date is the mock exam. This takes place online (via Zoom) from 9:00 to 12:00, followed by a run-through of the answers from 13:00 to 16:00.

The sixth date is the exam, which also takes place online from 9:00 to 12:00.

Between each session, you should expect 6-8 hours of homework. Fourteen days before the first session, you will receive the texts you need to prepare prior to the course.

Pre-test

Check to see if you’re ready for the English proofreading course. If you are not sure whether you are ready to complete a proofreading course, you can take our pre-test.

Proofreading workshops

If you feel you need some training before taking the full proofreading course, you can register for one of our two-day proofreading workshops in Copenhagen or in Aarhus. Read more about and register for the one-day workshop in English proofreading in Copenhagen and the two-day workshop in Aarhus.

The new GDPR law

All information is treated confidentially. This means that no information is passed on to any third party outside Danske Sprogseminarer.

Remember your computer

You must bring a computer yourself – for online notifications and for doing the proofreading exercises.

Refreshments

Food and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Exam and our register of freelance proofreaders

The course is completed with a three-hour online exam. The external examiner on the course is from Copenhagen University. Once you have passed the final exam, you will receive an exam certificate. In addition, you will be given the opportunity to be added to our register of approved freelance proofreaders.

If you do not pass the final exam, the re-examination will be free of charge. 

Uddannelsesforløb

Dag 1

What does proofreading cover?

A proofreader must be aware of all aspects of the text:

Aim: is the text relevant for the readers? Context: is the content clear and the terminology consistent? Linguistic accuracy: are the spelling, punctuation and syntax correct? Style: is the text free of Danish interference errors? Total expression: do the text and graphics form a coherent whole? Truth value and topicality: is what is written (still) true?

Before the course, you will need to find an English text from a Danish website. You then proofread this text before the first lesson. You should analyse the text according to the above-mentioned points.

On the course, we will review selected texts.

In addition, you will receive a number of tips on proofreading, and you will be trained to proofread short English texts. What errors are there, how do we find them, and how do we correct them?

Dag 2

English practice, grammar and useful tools

What are the typical errors in English-language texts written by Danes? How do English conventions differ from the Danish, and what are the consequences of having no English equivalent of the Dansk Sprognævn?

We pinpoint what makes a successful text and also discuss the differences between British and American English.

Using practical exercises, we examine the usefulness of printed dictionaries, online dictionaries and language corpora to a (Danish) proofreader of English-language material.

We will briefly review the most important elements of English grammar to ensure correct spelling and syntax.

Homework for Day 3 is based on selected sections in R. L. Trask, The Penguin Guide to Punctuation.

Dag 3

English punctuation and English texts written by Danes

You will be taught how English punctuation rules differ from Danish ones. Where do you place a comma, and how do you use footnotes correctly?

In addition, we will identify Danish-sounding constructions and replace them with good English expressions.

Homework for Day 4: proofreading assignments based on academic and business-oriented texts.

Dag 4

Practical exercises on paper and online – using both academic and business-oriented texts

We will practice proofreading printed English-language texts and work on re-writing authentic online texts.

To cover a wide selection of texts, we will look at both academic and business-oriented texts.

The day will be rounded off with questions from the floor.

Dag 5

Mock exam (online)

You will be given access to the mock exam text at 9:00 and have to send it back with your corrections by 12:00 noon at the latest. When you have submitted your proofread text, you will be sent the correct text to compare with your own corrected text. You will also get a Zoom link.

From 13:00 to 16:00, we will go through the corrected text together. You will, of course, be ready with your own text so you can see what you may have missed. We allow plenty of time for you to ask the teacher questions about the mock exam text and about the final exam.

The review will be recorded, and you will be given a link to the recording if you wish to review it.

Dag 6
Exam

The course is completed with a three-hour online exam from 9:00, when you will of course be allowed full access to study aids, including printed dictionaries and online resources.

About 10 days after the exam, you will receive your exam result.

Pete Westbrook
sprogkonsulent, MA, Københavns Universitet