To run a successful localization program, your company needs a consistent process for vetting and improving the quality of all translations. But how can you ensure these language quality reviews are as accurate and efficient as possible?
Your internal team may review your translation team’s work—or better yet, you could hire a third-party review service to provide unbiased language quality assurance. In either case, here are some key steps you can take to improve your review process.
If you know your content will eventually be localized, it helps to produce source material that allows for easy translation and quality review. For example, your brand’s original content creators should keep sentences concise, avoid overly complex phrasing, and ensure the text is as neat and clean of errors as possible. More generally, content creators need to understand how their decisions affect the localization and review process, so they can build localization into their roadmap from the beginning.
Effective language quality reviews require linguistic professionals with a deep knowledge of the target language and subject matter. Reviewers are likely to know some subjects better than others, so consider using different reviewers for different kinds of content. For example, one expert may excel at working with medical content, while another may have more experience with legal concepts and terminology.
Such specialists may come from within your organization, but a third-party service is more likely to have the kind of expertise you need. Regardless, it’s vital to employ reviewers with an independent, unbiased perspective; you don’t want your localization agency or internal team to be in charge of vetting its own work.
To keep the process on track, it’s a good idea to designate an in-house reviewer with local knowledge to provide additional assessments, resolve debates, and ensure the end product is right for the market. This person should know your brand voice and style, understand the target language and culture, and ideally live in the country. If no one inside your company can fill this role, a third-party service can provide a language lead to perform the same function.
When language quality reviewers find problems or make changes in translated content, this feedback needs to go back to your original translation team. This feedback loop should be embedded in your review workflow, so your translators can understand their mistakes and improve their performance over time.
Certain best practices can help you ensure timely and useful feedback for translators. Using translation review tools such as ContentQuo, your quality assurance team can provide your translators with access to feedback in real time and send notifications when reviewers make changes. Reviewers should present all feedback in writing, not just spoken conversation. In addition, reviewers should produce a final report for both the client and the translation team, providing objective statistics on the number and severity of the errors they uncovered.
Your review process should make sure everyone’s voice is heard and all changes receive careful consideration. Translators need the opportunity to respond to reviewers’ comments and dispute any feedback they find incorrect.
If the translation team and review team continue to disagree, the case should then go to arbitration, with your project manager, in-country reviewer, or language lead making the final call. The right tools can streamline the process, enabling you to save time and avoid complicated exchanges over email.
Different kinds of content have different purposes, so it makes sense to judge them by different criteria. For this reason, your review team should adapt its language quality model to the specific type of content.
For example, a simple quality model may assess translations on three dimensions: accuracy, terminology, and fluency. All of these dimensions could have the same impact on the quality of some kinds of content, so your language quality model would attribute the same numerical weight to errors of all three types. But if you’re translating a product inventory, terminology is likely to matter significantly more than fluency—so terminology should count for a higher value when your reviewers score errors by their type and severity.
A successful language quality review depends on easy collaboration. Translators, reviewers, and others should all share a platform—such as a Slack or Microsoft Teams workspace—where they can access the same documentation and carry on real-time conversations with each other. Such a shared space can make cross-team collaboration easier, keeping the lines of communication open and ensuring the free flow of information.
Conclusion: Keep Everyone Working Together
Language quality reviews are likely to involve multiple teams and individuals from different organizations—including your company, your translation agency, and your third-party language quality assurance service. Your challenge is to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they are all working together in harmony. By shaping the review process with these goals in mind, your business can make the most of its investment in language quality assurance.
If you are interested in learning more about how Beyont’s language quality management can help your company optimize its language quality review, please contact us below.