When companies enter the global market, they face many challenges due to language, culture, and legal aspects, particularly when it comes to creating marketing, packaging, drafting contract agreements, and product sales. Companies contract professional translation agencies to translate their websites, apps, and other types of content to the local language. Some companies, having received the finished translation work from the agency, will send it to a local in-country employee who is a native of the language to do an internal translation review. Other companies on the other hand, allow the agency to review their own work before turning it in.
Companies that work solely with a professional translation firm from start to finish believe internal in-country reviews can dramatically increase project completion time, delay time to market and ultimately cost the company, not just in OT but in lost revenue. Other companies consider an internal audit by a trusted employee who is already familiar with the culture of the company as a vital step in the process. So what is the best option for your company? What are the pros and cons of internal translation reviews?
What is translation?
First let’s take a step back and look at the translation process of a reputable localization company.
Translation converts your content from its source language into the target language, paying close attention to grammar rules and sentence structure. The key is to ensure local language accuracy of the original meaning of the content in the source language.
Translation is just one step in the localization process of adapting your message for local users while considering local customs and culture.
The language translation process involves three stages:
- Pre translation
The first step is to analyze your content against your translation memories in order to recycle previously approved translated content. It also involves analyzing against the termbase, so make sure you also give your company’s glossaries and style guides to your translation agency. The goal is to keep your content consistent.
The next step is translation, which could be undertaken by multiple translators depending on the scale of the work. Once the translators complete their work, at least one other senior linguist reviews/ edits the translators work to consolidate style and ensure the style guidelines and termbase have been adhered to. An automated QA software check for consistency, term translations, punctuation and formatting completes this phase..
- Post translation
After translation and editing, the content is post-engineered into the required format, layout is performed, proofreading is conducted and it is ready for review.
As this demonstrates well, provided that you are working with a reputable partner, with full processes, multistage translation and review stages, QA software, and you have terminology glossaries and multilingual style guides centralized, there is plenty of quality control in place.
Translation reviews process
Nevertheless, many companies still opt to send the files to an in-house designated native language experts to perform translation reviews. The employee reviews the work, provides feedback, and then sends it back to the translation agency for any necessary edits.
There are various pros and cons to consider when determining if this internal translation review process is beneficial to the company or if it slows the translation process as well as adding unnecessary expense.
Pros of internal translation reviews
First, let's start with the pros. When performing a local in-country review, it makes sense, if possible, to use your own in-house designated employee to review the agency’s completed work. The employee is already on the payroll to provide support services for the company, asking them for translation reviews may not be out of the scope of their employment.
An in-house, native language expert like the company’s country manager is already familiar with company nuances, terminology, customs, and products—and would make the perfect third-party translation reviewer. An employee such as this can guide the translation process, and be a liaison in cultivating a relationship of trust and confidence.
Cons of internal translation reviews
Now for the cons. Using in-country employees can come with some risks. Before assigning in-house translation reviews, consider the following:
Do your in-country employees have the proper skill set to provide feedback on copy-writing? Could they actually detract from the quality of the original translation, and possibly even introduce errors in terms of grammar or punctuation? Is there a formal structure in place to guide in-country employees with translation reviews? Has the review process been clearly defined to the employee? Any lack of communication may result in the employee either skimming through the content; missing issues, or going into too much detail; as a result, wasting valuable time or even degrading the translation already provided.
Do your employees even have time to perform the review? What is the scale of the review work needed? A manageable 1,000 words or 1 million words? Country managers are usually given the task because companies deem them the most qualified, but they are often busy with other tasks, and their available is often limited. They are also some of the higher paid staff on the payroll, so taking them away from their day to day responsibilities is costly. Delays in a translation project also lead to loss of revenue, as products are delayed reaching market.
When deciding if internal translation reviews are worth it, you must consider the overall process, the volumes of content, project completion deadlines and go-to-market strategy. Weigh up the benefits and the risks and consider how much additional time your company can afford. If your deadlines are tight, you should consider investing in an additional layer of linguistic review with your localization partner. If your volumes are large, consider partial reviews conducted internally. After all it is a good idea to keep your vendor honest! But what is imperative is that a designated subject-matter expert work closely with your localization partner on developing and maintaining your translation assets such as terminology glossaries and multilingual style guides to ensure the best possible chance of success.
Andovar can help you enter global markets by localizing your content, providing you with stellar translators, consultants, and technology experts to ensure your translated content resonates with users in the local market. Let us help find the best solution for your company’s needs. Contact us to learn more!