Survey Translation Review: 5 Steps to Quality

We often hear from market researchers that the survey translation review process is one of the most difficult stages in gathering and delivering data. It can push back deadlines, lead to version control issues, and cause a lot of stress and frustration. Well, we’ve got some good news:

Survey Translation Review Doesn’t Have to be a Headache

To get the best results, try out these five steps:

1. Plan your survey translation review in advance

When it comes to projects, people don’t like last-minute surprises. The same goes for survey translation reviews. But by letting everyone know in advance that a review stage will be part of the project, you’ll go a long way toward avoiding surprise overruns on cost and timing.

2. Involve your translation partner

This point can’t be stressed enough. Your translation vendor knows a lot about managing review cycles, and they’re there to help. It’s also important that any changes your client makes are reviewed for linguistic accuracy by a professional translator and then added to your translation memory database. For best results, involve your translation service provider — they know all the ins and outs.

3. Choose only the best reviewers for the job

The best way to get great feedback — to improve the quality of the translation — is having highly qualified survey translation reviewers on board. Good reviewers are defined as native speakers of the target language who are also fluent in English. Ideally they’ll have excellent written communication skills and knowledge of the subject matter.

4. Set clear expectations

Do you need all changes back by a certain date to make it to field on time? If so, then make sure your reviewers know. Most client reviewers have a lot of competing priorities. If you want to prioritize the survey translation review step, reviewers need to know how to schedule their time so they can help you reach your deadlines on time.

It’s also important that reviewers know what to look for. You might want them to look over any visible programming language, for example. They should also be aware that when reviewing translations, they shouldn’t be looking for errors that should have been taken care of before — such as spelling or grammar errors.

Instead, they’ll be making sure that wording is consistent with their company’s brand, and that any terms that are specific to that company match the way it represents its products or services in the target language.

5. Make sure all changes are tracked

It’s as simple as that — Make sure all changes in the survey translation review process are tracked. It’s up to you how you and your reviewers want to achieve that. You could either track changes in a Word document, or — if you want to be even more efficient — you could use an online tool like intellireview.

If you try out all these steps, you’ll not only save yourself a headache, but you’ll also save yourself time and money, and, most importantly, you’ll get accurate results from your surveys.

If you’d like to get more insight into ensuring survey translation quality or into market research translation more generally, you can contact us by reaching out to us at Also, follow us on Twitter — @LangInt — to join to conversation!