//The translation step you cannot afford to leave to its own device

In Country Review (ICR).

In my post Translation review can make or break you. Take your pick. we concluded the translation process should be very collaborative between client and provider. What do we mean by that? Think of it this way, if a biography were written about you, you would take careful measures to ensure that the writer does a great job in depicting you and your story. You would have to love the writing style and would want to ensure selection of terms and subject matter specialization meets your standards. Well the same is true when you’re translating your company’s story into different languages and targeting different cultures. Someone local to you has to have input on various aspects of the content. That is what we mean when we say translation has to be collaborative. Specifically this is what will happen once you give your translation provider direct access to your reviewer:

Provide your translation partner with the same ICR project upon project. One reviewer’s writing style will always vary from another. Don’t change reviewers without advising your Project Manager. This will cause inconsistencies and could unknowingly result in perception of bad quality when in fact word or phrase selection is a matter stylistic preference. In fact the review process is so important that your Project Manager will document your reviewer’s name and save it in their translation management system.

  1. Glossaries – Your translation provider will create a glossary from any materials you have provided them. Words are carefully selected to represent your company’s internal vernacular. Your company owns your glossaries. The more translation is performed the bigger the glossary will become. Translators need your glossaries in order to keep your projects and marketing message consistent. Glossaries have to be updated regularly as new projects come in. New projects, means the addition of new words and phrases that might not be in the glossary yet. You own those glossaries. Your ICR will be asked to sign off on new words and phrases.
  2. Approval process – If she does not agree with the selection of terms, she will simply provide an alternative term that aligns better with your company’s vernacular. This step right here, is the where clients get hung up. When a translator uses terms your team does not agree with. But a translator cannot be expected to know your company’s vernacular.  Instead, the in-country reviewer will work in close collaboration with your project manager and translator to produce best terms and phrases for all projects.  Your content should be handled with much care. A reputable company will have strong translation processes. Translations projects should not be performed without a glossary.
  3. Your project manager must have full access of to your in country reviewer who is reviewing and must be informed by you if the reviewer changes. A similar process where the new ICR will be asked to sign off on new words and phrases.
  4. Your project manager will hold regular production meetings with your in-country reviewer to discuss projects for stylistic preferences, and other nuances associated with project planning and execution. These issues and resolutions discussions are a part of any good translation process.
  5. Your account manager is responsible for handling the client experience, which includes responsiveness, turnaround times and quality topics from the end user or reviewer, including ensuring that documentation is made regarding the “closing” after two weeks. If we do not get feedback, it means satisfactory acknowledgement of our product. Often time, clients internally edit our finished product (not a good idea in my opinion without updating glossaries and getting feedback from our translator), and return to us later stating “We” made an error.  That is why a job-closing policy is needed and should be strictly enforced.
  6. Glossaries update frequency. The Project Manager will establish a glossary- approval-frequency. How often should the customer-reviewer approve your customized and updated glossaries (every 20,000 words? Every 50,000 words?) This decision will be made by the Project Manager who will consult the translation team. As mentioned in #1, glossaries have to be updated regularly as new projects come in. New projects, means the addition of new words and phrases that might not be in the glossary yet. You own those glossaries.
  7. Project closed – Due to the varying styles of client-side readers of the translated projects once the project is complete, your project manager will document (it can be done automatically by the translation management system) the project as “CLOSED”; generally, some time frame is established, often a two week time period after project submission.  That means no one within your organization can return the translation for further revisions. Final reminders should go out to you on a schedule basis prior to this date so that you do not exceed your internal revisions.
  8. Send updates to your project manager. If you decide to make any internal changes to the translations performed by your translation team, ensure that your translation team is made aware those changes in order for them to update the glossaries and translation memories. Updates of new terms made by your internal teams without proper glossary update can cause serious inconsistencies in future work. Your project managers should enable a process that facilitates the inclusion of the changes from your internal reviewers into the Translation Memories. In fact it will appear as though your translation company has failed you!

Kudos – We encourage that you give your in country reviewers a lot of kudos for helping participate in the review process.

Happy product marketing, you are on your way to providing clear description of your products internationally!