Your content, your brand, your expertise
The more you invest into your source content, and the more your source content is part of your brand, the more you need to control that your target content is up to scratch. Adding an internal in-market review cycle to your process can make a crucial difference in branding the translated content as your truly global identity. Always remember that the goal of translation is to literally multiply the reach of your source content.
Your content editing processes
If you have editorial QA steps, or teams concerned with the form and methods that your source content is created, you might find it natural to expect the same of your localised content. Reviewing your translations may become part of the setup within your global organisation. You also need to be sure that your review cycle drives increased quality and does not become a repetitive hamster wheel.
Do it right, or don’t do it. We need to remind you that reviewing texts is a professional skill, and that reviewing translations requires yet more layers and solid resources if you want to achieve a successful and efficient outcome.
Scalable review cycles
To make a review of translated content a scalable activity, the process needs to be measurable and part of an overarching strategy. Your strategy should also touch on the source content and how it is created. The value lies in thinking of your content as a detail of your overall global localisation strategy.
To achieve this, and in order to scale this activity, you need to define your goals and create measurable data to create a process that adds value in accordance to a list of criteria. This is particularly challenging with a task that to some might consist of casually skimming to analysing a document.
Integrate your vision
In the context of the localisation strategy, internal review cycles relate to the area of your languages assets, like style guides, terminology databases. These areas are very intimately entwined with all organisation wide content creation workflows.
The ideal partner in those considerations is an LSP (language services provider) who thinks of your review cycles as an effort that has to be embedded in the enterprise ecosystem. The LSP contributes the Translation Management System to this ecosystem. Seamless integration of your content can be simple. The TMS needs to address linguistic production and asset storage, technical parsing, and workflow and business management.
The information required to run valuable review cycles falls into the linguistic production category, and in this framework represents somewhat softer asset data than TM and Terminology. The key instrument is the style guide. It is by far the most efficient way to communicate instructions and feedback to translation suppliers, but also to your content authors.
Making review cycles scalable
The richness and relevance of the data held in the TMS is the natural context to define and execute reviewing needs in a repeatable way. You will find that your LSP should be very interested in making your internal review cycle a “find nothing” experience.
The most successful way to achieve this is to build a suitable style early on and to maintain it if necessary.
Based on the style guide, the source text, the Translation Memory, and the Terminology, you still need explicit instructions for the reviewer – a plan on how to report your findings, how to evaluate them (if necessary), and finally how to update your assets to reflect possible changes.
- What are the instructions for your review task?
- What errors are you checking for?
- How do you improve a translation?
- How do you explain what you have improved?
- Who were the translator and editor?
- Were the instructions clear?
- How often has the error been repeated?
- How often does the style guide need updating?
- What was the cost involved in updating TM and Terminology?
- What was the effect of the follow up steps?
Changes and adaptation
We find that the better the processes are set up, the less likely for issues to show up in the final translation. Instead, issues will increasingly point out weaknesses in other processes, for example using the wrong suppliers, authoring issues, terminology tweaks, style guide updates.
One of the most common changes over time will be to reduce the intensity of the review cycles. Large cooperations have achieved great cost reductions by cutting down on reviews, reducing to spot checks or even cutting down on the typical Translation-Proofreading-Editing workflow.
There are also possibilities to tweak the supplier mix and pair up supplier teams with track records of low correction rates.