Translation Tips for Marketing Professionals: Part 3

(continued from Part 2)

Reviewing Translated Documents You may wish to ask your international sales staff or distributors to offer feedback on your translations. Internal language reviews, if handled correctly, can provide an additional degree of quality control. There are, however, a few factors to consider before implementing an internal review process.

If you work with a reputable translation company, the translator who worked on your project is almost certainly a capable and competent professional. The point of an internal language review is to check key terminology and confirm that it is consistent with your company's internal style. Some reviewers, however, believe they aren't carrying out their mission unless they mark up nearly every paragraph in the document with "corrections" that are merely preferences. If this is an issue, politely discourage your reviewers from making an excessive number of stylistic changes. Do you allow your domestic salespeople to completely rewrite your English brochures if their writing style is different from the original copywriter's?

Another potential problem you might face is your reviewers not returning their comments in a timely fashion. When a client sets a clear date for the return of in-country comments, it helps everybody to meet their production deadlines.

Archiving After the Translation

We cannot stress enough the importance of properly archiving project files, e-mails and notes. Three months from now, it will not be easy to determine which English version of a document was sent to you by your domestic sales department, or why your Latin American sales manager is now insisting that the wrong version of a document was translated. There are simply too many players involved during the project process, and you want to be in a position to quickly and correctly address questions or problems as they occur.

Many of the issues we have raised should be anticipated by your translation company's project manager-ask him or her for more information if our topics have raised more issues than they have answered. Planning and preparation can have a positive impact on the price and quality of your future translations, and a proactive strategy will pay dividends on future projects.

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