Posted on: 18 Oct 2011
Written by: Paul
As a rule, Robertson Languages International works with teams of translators who are not only experts in their respective fields, they also live in the client’s target country. This ensures our translators are up to speed on current linguistic, market and cultural developments. In exceptional cases, where the translator is not resident in the client’s target country, Robertson Languages International will have the text checked by a reviewer based in the target country before the translation is released. This is a vital part of the translation process. Taking this one step further, many of our clients like to get involved in the translation process by acting as final reviewers. We welcome this level of partnership as it benefits everyone involved.
Clients can boost the effectiveness of their final reviews by applying the following tips:
Ensure the in-house reviewer is qualified. A qualified reviewer must have the writing skills needed. Simply being a native speaker does not suffice. He/she does not need to be a professional translator, but must be an expert in the subject matter at hand.
Ensure the in-house reviewer takes a ‘cooperative’ approach. The translator and reviewer form part of the same quality chain.
Ensure the in-house reviewer understands his/her role in the overall translation process. A client review is not an editorial function, it’s a quality assurance and approval function. No changes to approved terminology are acceptable during the review phase. The reviser should also avoid “back translation” into the original language as it’s not the best means by which to judge the stylistic quality of the translation.
Ideally, the review should involve comparing the original text with the translation line by line and should assess whether the translator has accurately reflected the message of the source text, conformed to terminological and translation standards agreed upon (in writing in advance), and report on errors. (The translation service provider should correct all errors and implement all changes mandated by the client reviewer within a specific time).
In practice, the client review is often monolingual only, i.e. the client’s in-house reviewer does not see the original text and just reads the translation. Great care is needed here. It is not uncommon for clients to send translators “corrected translations” that don’t resemble the original text in any way. The in-house reviewer should remember that it is beyond the scope of a translator’s job to rewrite original texts during translation (unless instructed to do so in writing by the client in advance).
The client reviewer should be in close contact with the translation service provider and ask any questions that are necessary. Once the text has been finalised, the final version should always be sent back to the translation service provider (ideally with a list of what was changed and why) so the translation service provider can update its glossaries, translation memories, and style guides for future use.
In any case, when the client works closely with the translator, the results can often be spectacular.