Translation and Interpreting in 150+ Languages
Circle of Trust: Editing Translation
February 3, 2012 - By: - In: Language - Comments Off on Circle of Trust: Editing Translation

It’s tough to buy a translation when you don’t speak the language. Correction. It’s easy to buy, its just tough to know what you bought. Now you can always hire someone else to check it for you, like another language service provider, or do a language managment thing for youself to tell you if its OK, but many of our clients prefer to use those already embedded in their circle of trust, someone they know.

Here’s the catch. The people they are relying on are often not  translators and don’t like to spend their precious time translating. (If they did, I guess, they would be doing the translation in the first place.) From the feedback we get on our translation we know that our reviewers are sometimes in need of review themselves.

To help our client reviewers do a better job,  we came up with these quick instructions which have been super useful in helping reviewers give us the kind of specific advise we can act on.

So why am I giving this away this top secret proprietary document? I guess, because the bar for admission to my circle of trust is actually pretty low.  Actually all you have to do is  read half-way through one of my posts. So, welcome.  The secret handshake is the same as the Boyscout three-finger-ed version. Anyway, here are the instructions we give to our amateur reviewers:

1. Before you begin review, in addition to the translation, you’ll need the original, source document, any
glossary or style guides, and/or reference materials.
2. As you examine the translation, before you make a change, ask yourself these 3 questions.
a. Is the original translation accurate? Was meaning preserved?
b. Is the translation compliant with all style guides, glossaries or instructions provided?
c. Is it grammatically correct?
3. If your answer to all of those questions is “Yes,” and you still want to make a change, then please
note that this is a stylistic/preference change (i.e. preferring one synonym over another), which is not
considered to be a translation error but a “client preference.”
Example: Crossing out the word “more” and replacing it with “greater” or “additional”.
4. It’s best if you can make your changes directly into the translation. Changes are easiest to manage in
MS Word (make sure that the “Track Changes” function is on.) Highlighter/Sticky Notes function in
Acrobat is another good way to ensure that our translation team can see exactly where the changes took
5. When you have completed the changes, please send to your project manager. After we review your translations, we’ll submit findings to you, along with a case-by-case rationale for accepting or rejecting your changes.
6. We’ll take your changes to improve our glossary and style guide, and to train your assigned
translation team to correct similar errors in the future, using our ISO 9001 QA process for continuous
improvement. Please note that some of the changes you request may be subject to additional charges.

Makes a big difference, and really helps reduce the editorial frustration level since they have a clear template to work from.

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