How to manage the local market feedback process for translations

The review process is usually the final stage in the overall translation process and can be the hardest bit.

From our experience of working with a variety of clients with international operations, we have put together some tips on how the process can be managed to avoid the bottlenecks and get the content ready for market as quickly as possible.

The translation review process is usually the final stage in the overall translation process and can be the hardest bit. It requires commitment from colleagues to review the translations and provide feedback. This is often an extra job for them and can often be seen as a nuisance and left as the last thing on their endless to-do list.

It is however a critical stage in the translation process. Review by the market ensures that all local knowledge and expertise is captured with specific feedback on terminology, style, tone and product usage. Working with a ‘local’ team or individual in each country will also assist in the sharing of best practice and ensure that the company remains connected to its local customers.

From our experience of working with a variety of clients with international operations, we have put together some tips on how the process can be managed to avoid the bottlenecks and get the content ready for market as quickly as possible.

  • Select a suitable person in the market – they should be a native speaker with the appropriate level of experience and understanding of the content and its intended use. For consistency, it is important to ensure that the same person reviews content each time.
  • Brief the selected reviewers thoroughly so they understand the process and their role. They should be provided with all the necessary reference material, including the glossary of terms created for the project (if required)
  • Establish a clear process for how feedback will be provided. This can be done in a number of ways, from the straightforward (a simple Word document) to the more sophisticated, e.g. an on-line review tool for InDesign files where revisions can be made in the content and notes added. Your translation partner should be able to advise on the best way for the market to provide feedback depending on the file formats used.
  • Organise a kick-off meeting with the reviewers and your translation partner. This provides the opportunity for everyone to introduce themselves, agree roles and define the process
  • Test out the process on a few markets first before rolling it out as there may be variations needed.
  • Make sure enough time is built into the translation process to collect feedback and make the necessary revisions to the translations.
  • Ensure that your translation partner makes the necessary updates to the translation memory and glossary once the final content is signed off. This will ensure that preferred terminology and style is used in subsequent content.

The review process can be a bit of a headache, but it always pays off in the end. By taking the time to plan how the review will be completed, it will save a lot of time and effort in the long run and ensure that content is ready as fast as possible to get that product launch ready on time.

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