I have found in my time within the L10N industry that many customers are uneducated or misinformed on one of the most important steps in the translation process, the final review. I often hear complaints when I talk about the Client Review Cycle, things like, “If we have someone to translate this internally, we wouldn’t be hiring you!” Many clients think that once they send a source file and specify the language needed they are done with the process. However, the reality is that their final involvement with the review cycle is the master key to the most accurate and effective translation end product.
No One can tell it better than you can!
Although companies such as Vocalink use Subject Matter Experts when translating for specific industries and companies, it is imperative we have the final review done by the client. This ensures that the flow, direction and language of the message feel as though it was written by the client. This also double checks for key words, acronyms and abbreviation are properly done and rechecked by a native speaker within the industry. It is not designed to have the client re-edit or retranslate the content.
What if you do not have someone internally?
If a company does not have such a person on-staff locally, then an in-country sales representative or a distributor with whom the client has a solid business relationship would be an ideal candidate. If multiple translation projects are planned, it is suggested that the same reviewer be used for all projects to help ensure consistency from project to project. Third party reviewers are an option but are not always preferable. These reviewers may not have the experience or history with the account to accurately assess the translation. Also, they may have an ulterior motive of securing future business rather than an accurate review of the translation.
Regardless of whether the client chooses an internal reviewer, distributor or a the third-party agency, all appropriate glossaries, style guides and reference materials need to be distributed to the reviewers so they can accurately assess the translation.