6 Easy Steps Towards Successful Translation Review

I do not know two people who approach translation reviewing in exactly the same way. Some people understand reviewing as an opportunity to rewrite or re-elaborate the translation. Others just check for mistakes. But what constitutes an error? Is it an outright mistranslation or just a problem in style? Within this gray area, by following a few easy steps, you can ensure your review process works well.

  1. Understand that you are not the author, but the reviewer. This means that the text does not have to be written in exactly the way you would write it in order to be correct. The question to be addressed is: does this document accomplish successfully what it sets out to do.
  2. Avoid frustration. Language is full of nuance and no one knows your subject matter and specifics like you do. Getting people up to speed on how you like things is a process and does not happen in a single beat. Again focus on differentiating between the “must haves” and the “would like to haves” while reviewing.
  3. Early Return. In case the file you are reviewing is way off base either in terms of terminology, or style or accuracy, let your Project Manager or linguist know immediately so that they can address and rectify the concerns. This may seem obvious but many reviewers punish themselves and force themselves to go through text that is sub-par. This opens up a whole world of problem and pain.
  4. Try to step out of your own shoes. Try looking at the material as if you were the actual audience. Forget about personal preferences and focus on elements that will objectively change the end user experience with the translated material.
  5. Do your homework before getting started with the translation process. Let your translator or project manager know about your preferences as you get started. Point them to benchmark material, make them aware of terminology that should get translated in a certain way and let them know about any concerns with style. This will get the work rolling in the correct direction from the get go.
  6. Review small samples as you go along. This will avoid surprises, leverage any corrections you may have and ensure that you do not get stressed at the end with a huge amount of work to get done in a short amount of time.
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