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Best Practices for Translation Review




When a translation service is required, it is of course essential that the translation be accurate and sound “native”. If the person in charge of the translation project does not speak the language subject to translation, it is always tempting to have the translation “reviewed” by someone who does, to make sure that it meets high standards. ​ Depending on your budget, time and preference, you can approach translation review in at least three different ways.


1. You can hire a professional translator to do the translation, and a separate professional translator to do the review. 2. You can hire a full-service translation agency that offers an at least three-step translation process (translation, independent translation review and proofreading). 3. You can hire a professional translator to do the translation and then use an in-house translation reviewer. If you hire a reliable translation agency with a strict quality assurance process, you probably do not need an in-house reviewer, because the translation process will involve at least two or three separate professional translators. The key word here is TRUST. If you have found translators or a translation agency through referrals, checked their credentials and done your due diligence, you can trust them to do a good job. They will become your best partners, as they are interested in your success to win you as a repeat client. In-House Reviewers Some clients insist that the translator or agency use an in-house reviewer, while others secretly send the translation for review after the translation has been completed. Client-side reviewers can be a blessing, or become a nightmare for the translation project. Truth be told, unfortunately even some Fortune 500 companies pick translation reviewers very casually. Random employees from receptionists to office boys (yes, we can attest to this!) are chosen to be in-house reviewers simply because they happen to be the only person in the company who “speaks” the language in question. They are indeed “bilingual”, but frequently they have only learned the language concerned at home or have few years of schooling in it. We have heard and experienced countless anecdotes regarding “in-house translation reviewers”, some of which are horror stories and others simply hilarious. One particular slip-up comes to mind. A Spanish-speaking client in a Spanish-speaking country needed a contract to be translated from Spanish into English. A couple of days after the translation was delivered, he came back to us saying that his reviewer “who knows English and travels to the USA frequently, has informed me that the document is full of typos. There are words such as “hereto”, “hereby”, “herein”, “thereof” and he knows for sure that these are two separate words.” We assumed that the “reviewer” was not familiar with the legalese employed in contracts. To avoid unnecessary stress for all parties involved, and to keep your project within budget, follow these five best practices for translation review:

  1. Choose your in-house reviewer carefully. Being bilingual should not be the only qualification. Make sure that they have completed higher education in both languages. Ensure that they are project stakeholders who know the terminology of your subject matter extremely well, in both the source and target languages. They need to be familiar with your company brand, voice, tone and register.

  2. Make sure that they are deeply involved in the creation of the style guide and glossary corresponding to the translation project, and maintain a dialogue with your translator or translation agency.

  3. Ensure that they share any terminology preferences in advance with the translation vendor.

  4. Insist that they focus their review on errors only, never on stylistic changes or preferred linguistic nuances.

  5. Make sure that they do not have any interest in seeing the translation project fail.

Hope you have found this information useful. Any questions? Please give us a call at 480.626.2926. We will be glad to help. Language Concepts Consulting LLC is a boutique provider of professional translation and graphic design services to organizations of all sizes and industries across the United States. We specialize in English to Spanish translations and translations to Asian languages. We offer comprehensive and certified translation services to advertising agencies, educational institutions, financial and insurance companies, food and beverage companies, market research companies, medical and health care providers, nutraceutical and direct selling organizations, media and marketing companies, television networks, among others.

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