How Do You You Know If Your Translations Are Any Good? [hint: translation quality review]
Updated: Sep 23
The importance of solid review processes
Years ago it was common to see translated content like product manuals that were full of garbled syntax and awkward language. It indicated that a company was not investing in quality translation. Fast forward, and we all know that a poor translation can and will reflect negatively on the company that cuts corners. It hurts your reputation, makes you look globally inept, and can mark your products as sub-standard. Those are all costly things to undo and a poorly reviewed translation can generate those impressions.
Every piece of content you share reflects on your brand
Brand and reputation, a key component of brand, are major assets of any successful corporation or organization. A strong brand tells a compelling story about your business, culture, and commitment to your customers and your employees. Yet, when you enter a new market or begin training new employees who speak a different language from the one your content was composed in, a simple thing like translation quality can undo years of brand equity.
Clarity is critical to meaning
Besides the potential for damaging impressions, misconstrued meaning can create safety issues, cause misunderstandings about things like product instructions or company policies, and hold back potential future business or employee retention. A translation that is ambiguous, likely because the translator either cuts corners, was not a subject matter expert, or was overly reliant on machine translation, can lead to these problems.
Fortunately the translation industry has built failsafe methods of avoiding this
Translation companies use a kind of feedback loop to manage translation quality. The initial translation is done by one native speaking translator and then passed to another for review, either a freelancer or a native speaking employee. That person needs to understand the context and intent of the content. They review the translation and make any required suggestions or edits, which then loop back for additional review. While it sounds complicated, we have standard workflows for managing this process.
Enter intellireview, our review management software
As a Language Intelligence customer, you have free access to the intellireview software tool we developed to address some common issues with the review process. These include approvals, editing access, and version control issues. All of these things can contribute to a flawed review process. With intellireview, your translation is stored in the tool, in our cloud, and access is granted to those involved in the review process. It tracks changes and who makes them, and offers the ability to add comments and corrections, etc. Critically, until the translation is reviewed and complete, only one version exists, the ‘single source of the truth’. No more email attachments floating around causing confusion, errors, and omissions.
Yes, review takes time, but the alternative is compromised quality
As we’ve covered in another article, there are reasons why even a small translation may take a little longer than you expect, and review is one of them. Yet, if you compromise on this critical step, errors can take place that extend the time to get it right and potentially hurt your image and reputation. Fortunately, the development of new tools and technologies is moving us towards a fully automated translation workflow that will lead to even faster turnaround times, without impacting quality or costs.