Managing In-House Review of Translations

When our clients’ foreign offices review a translation, we always value their input. Their intimate knowledge of their customers, internal processes, vendors and industry terms in their specific market is very useful. As your company’s coordinator for multilanguage translation projects, here are some tips from ASIST Translations that will help you make this process more productive:

  1. Most of the time, reviewers are not professional linguists, and are not familiar with the laborious review and double-checking the translation process requires. It is important to emphasize that personal “style preferences” must be avoided. Even the smallest change suggestions typically require review by 2-3 people on the translation side alone—hardly a good investment, if the translated text wasn’t “wrong” in the first place.
  2. Instruct your reviewers that they must resist the temptation to add anything to the translated text that isn’t in the English original—this is a cardinal rule for our own translators, editors and proofreaders at ASIST. Any omissions or ambiguities in the English should be corrected at the source and addressed in all languages where appropriate. This is crucial for multi-language projects. Otherwise, as your company’s in-house coordinator, it quickly becomes unwieldy to manage documents, and each translation could stray from the English meaning in its own way.
  3. It is very helpful if reviewers provide you an explanation in English (as a Comment in the translated MS Word file) for every suggested change—indicating exactly what each revision means and why it’s necessary. As you can imagine, this requirement for explanatory comments in English reduces the number of non-essential changes you will receive! Most importantly, being in the loop on how the content is being altered gives you the chance to manage the process before returning suggestions for review, comment and approval by ASIST linguists. Indeed, some comments may suggest improvement that should be made to the English original (and then updated in the other languages).
  4. Timing is important. In-house reviews of a translation should be completed in the source Microsoft Word document before page layout, audio recording and so on are done. This is not only more efficient and reduces extra work, but also improves change tracking and consistency in the translation memories that ASIST maintains for your projects.

ASIST Translation Services, Inc. is a full-service translation agency located in Columbus, Ohio. We provide translation, interpreting, proofreading, studio voice recording and media production, localization of interactive and Web content, and specialized language services to clients around the world…