When you’re publishing content in an international market, it’s a smart business move to use an in-country review of your translations. But managing in-country linguistic reviews can be a considerable headache for companies that don’t have a proven process in place and experts at their side.
So, what can a powerful, efficient in-country translation review process do for your company? Let’s take a closer look.
What is in-country review?
Once your content is translated and localized by your translation agency, an in-country linguistic review assures it adheres to the market’s conventions and your company’s brand, voice and terminology. It’s more of an overall process than simply catching typos or incorrect wording in the finished product.
If your company is not yet established globally, you may not have in-country colleagues available to provide that insight and feedback. Even if you’re at a large company, in-country review is a time-consuming task that pulls internal field employees from their regular jobs.
But don’t worry. Once you have the right process and people involved, you’ll enjoy a higher rate of translation acceptance and faster release of your content in-market.
Choose reliable in-country reviewers
In-country reviewers are your “boots on the ground” experts, ideally full of knowledge about local regulations, your company’s terminology and nuances, and your products. Not to mention they speak the native language.
You may have a number of people helping with reviews, but be sure to choose one lead reviewer per language. They’ll be responsible for consolidating all feedback, resolving issues, and having the last word on your voice, style and terminology for their market.
If you have the internal experts dedicated to the review process, by all means, put them to the task. But know that there are parameters they must meet to handle the workload, such as:
Commitment. Your reviewer (or reviewers, depending on your required languages) must offer absolute commitment to your projects, first and foremost.
Native speaker. Your ideal candidate(s) must also be a native speaker, fluent in English and familiar with your products and brand.
Team player. Are they efficient with their time and mindful of others’? Do they play nice with others (both within your organization and with your vendors)? The most effective reviewers are dedicated to constant improvement of quality, consistent brand messaging and generating cost efficiencies over time. They aren’t threatened by feedback from their translation team or their global internal team. Quite the opposite: they welcome it.
Outcome. What do you expect your reviewer to accomplish? Set clear expectations’ from correct usage of industry terms and consistent brand messaging to improving overall quality and generating cost efficiencies over time.
Prepare for the review
Constant discussion and feedback are the keys to success. Acclaro recommends introducing your reviewers to your translation agency’s language leads to set expectations for the review cycle and tools being used.
Have a kick-off meeting
Your reviewers, localization agency project manager and translators should have a kick-off meeting at the start of your localization program. Build this into the schedule to ensure accurate planning and delivery times.
Create a termbase (aka glossary) and style guide
The next vital step to review preparation is to create a terminology database(known as a “glossary” to non-localization experts), or have your agency point you to an industry-standard one to use (typically at no cost), along with a brand style guide.
A good rule of thumb with your glossaries and style guides is this: if it exists in English within your brand communications, share it with your translators. Measurements, dates, taglines, tonality—the more you include, the more cost efficiencies and brand consistency you’ll receive on the back end.
Best practices & recommendations for the review process
To set your reviewer(s) up for success, you’ll want to provide them with some background, resources and instructions. Let them know the reason for the review, lay out your guidelines for providing feedback and set concrete deadlines. Here are some more specific instructions:
1. Create a consistent editing method
A detailed method of editing must be established to maintain consistency and maximize timing. First and foremost, you and your translation team should agree on the most ideal method. Whether you prefer online reviews or working with PDFs, you must communicate and stick to one review process. Chaos occurs when a reviewer jumps back and forth between editing processes.
2. Set a schedule and stick to it
As your company’s translation gatekeeper, the onus is on you to let your reviewer(s) know when their translations will arrive. You’ll also need to provide them with realistic deadlines.
What are the project’s milestones? Is your reviewer inundated with other company projects? Planning ahead is key. Sticking to the schedule: imperative.
3. Prepare for discussion
Once the translators receive feedback from your reviewer, they may wonder about the logic behind the change. A feedback loop is initiated when a translator disagrees with verification changes, whether they feel something’s not staying true to source content, glossary terms were changed or changes are grammatically incorrect. You will need to decide who has the last say.
4. Evaluate and evolve the process
To address concerns and create a fine-tuned, efficient translation process, many translation agencies hold quarterly business reviews and implement process changes as needed, with the approval of their client.
Because reviewers are so vital to the translation process, your translation team should always provide them with the latest reference materials and instructions, so everyone is on the same page. Then make the necessary changes within your translation memory database to ensure consistency in the future.
The goal is to create a consistent, cost-effective, timely process that produces high-quality translations in your brand voice. Equipped with a robust termbase and brand style guide, in-country reviewers are key assets to your company’s localization programs’ success. Finding the right person (or persons) can’t be overstated. Once you do, a regimental review process must be established, your reviewer(s) must be trained on the process, and the process followed for every project. By all parties.
To see how Acclaro can help you create the ideal in-country linguistic review process for your company, contact one of our representatives today.