While we have always encouraged our clients to have our translations reviewed by their in-country office or native speakers among their staff, this process has traditionally taken place after we delivered the translations. However, making changes at this late stage can be time-consuming and result in missed deadlines.
To understand the reasons for this, let’s take a look at our standard translation process: When we receive a document for translation, say a Word file, we load it into our translation environment system. This system separates the text from its formatting. It allows the translators and editors to work in a text-only environment, optimized for the translation workflow. It shows the translators the source text on the left side, and they type the translations into the right side. At the same time, the system displays identical translated segments from previous projects (matches) and similar translated segments stored in the translation memory database (fuzzy matches). This enables the translators to make use of previously translated content, reducing cost and improving consistency. If a terminology database has been set up for the client, the system also displays terminology.
After translation, proofreading and quality assurance have been completed, the system puts the translated texts back into the original layout. At that point, we often have a lot of manual formatting work to do, as translated text might have expanded and formatting needs to be adjusted before we deliver the completed file to the client.
If the client reviews the completed file after we deliver it and requests changes or corrections, we usually ask the translator to update the translations within the system so that everything will be stored in our database correctly for future re-use. But then we also need to update the final file layout. This means redundant work, additional formatting tasks and further delays until the client receives an updated final version.
The solution is to give clients access to our system so that they can review the translations before the final layout is generated.
We can now provide the client with a direct login into our system, which is cloud-based. Once in the system, the client has the same level of access as our translators or project managers, which means they can see and modify translations, view matches with previous translations, review terminology entries, even run automated quality assurance (QA) checks. This environment makes the client review task more effective and faster. A minimal amount of training is required, which we are happy to provide. The interface is quite intuitive. Ultimately, this new process saves time and money for all parties involved.
We offer this option to clients free of charge. If you are an existing or prospective client of ours and would like to learn more, please contact your account manager or Martin Heimann
For more information on client reviews, we also recommend an excellent article by Adam Wooten, Word on the Street: Four keys to successful client reviews (Multilingual Magazine, December 2017)