Localization is hard to get right. Even the most skilled agencies or internal teams can run into trouble with the nuances of translation. Likewise, they can find it challenging to catch their own mistakes or identify ways to improve their own work.
To ensure successful results, your company needs more than just a translation vendor’s standard QA and edits. You need an additional process of unbiased assessment and feedback to root out problems, reduce bottlenecks, and deliver continuous upgrades in language quality.
In short, a comprehensive language quality review is a best practice for any localization program. Such a review boosts your ability to reach customers beyond your home region, while minimizing the risks and costs of flawed translation.
How Language Quality Review Makes Localization Projects Succeed
In the review stage of localization, language specialists evaluate your translations and recommend improvements to your vendor or in-house team. Professional reviewers not only search for flaws in translated content, but also use quantifiable metrics to provide an unbiased assessment of language quality.
A strong review process is a joint effort. Reviewers work with you to understand your brand and the specifics of your product or service, so they can make recommendations that match your needs. They act as an extension of your team, collaborating with your vendor and staff.
So what benefits can you expect when you invest in a language quality review program?
An unbiased language quality review raises the standards of your communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries—especially when it’s performed by experts who know your product and brand. That means your words will resonate with your audience, no matter what markets you enter.
Skilled reviewers don’t just detect technical errors in grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. They also help your team avoid the trap of literal, word-for-word translations, and they eliminate jargon, colloquialisms, and figures of speech that don’t match your target market. In this way, you can keep such problems from impeding communication and harming perceptions of your brand.
Speed can make all the difference when you’re scaling to reach new markets. It’s vital to check your vendor’s work before releasing localized content or products—but a lack of resources can slow this effort down. Your internal team may not be able to fill the gap. Such bottlenecks can cost you time and money, while competitors race ahead.
By employing a dedicated team of independent, unbiased reviewers, you expand the resources available to your vendor and in-house staff. In this way, you can avoid delays in localization and the problems that result from an inadequate review process.
When local teams take on localization projects, they risk altering the original content in ways that dilute the intended meaning or conflict with your brand image. For example, in-country marketers may translate an ad campaign in a way that makes sense to them, but clashes with the brand strategy devised at your headquarters.
By spotting and resolving such discrepancies, professional reviewers can help you ensure consistent messaging and branding across regions and markets. A language quality review enables you to exert centralized control over your message, even when people far from your home base are making decisions.
Language quality has a significant impact on how customers interact with products, from software and games to consumer goods. Flawed and inconsistent translations can undermine perceptions of your product’s quality. And if users can’t understand key features or functionality, they may be reluctant to engage with your products or buy from you again.
Professional language quality reviewers can support your vendors and help replicate your original UX for the local market. The goal is to ensure all your customers receive the same native-quality experience, even if they are on the other side of the world. When you invest in ongoing review by experts working closely with your team, you bolster your ability to deliver a consistent customer experience over time.
The best reviewers don’t only seek to improve the quality of your translations in the short term. In the medium and long term, they also help your vendor’s personnel identify recurring problems and avoid falling into the same errors again and again.
Expert reviewers can provide actionable feedback that leads to continuous gains in language quality. Localization should therefore become faster and easier as time goes on, provided your vendor continues to use the same review team.
As part of this process, a professional review team can track quality over time and provide metrics of how your language quality is trending. Without such information, you have no way to know if your vendor’s results are improving, declining, or remaining the same.
How can you be sure your localization projects are on track? Without an informed second opinion, you can only trust your vendor and hope for the best. That’s a precarious situation when your global expansion is on the line—and the last thing you want is negative feedback when your product hits the market.
When you invest in language quality review, you can have confidence that your translated content will connect with your audience, and you reduce the risk that delays and other problems will interfere with your plans. As a result, you and your team can spend less time and energy managing the process of localization, freeing you to focus on other crucial projects.
Is Language Quality Review Worth the Cost?
A higher standard of language quality comes at a price. Among other things, you need to hire skilled reviewers who not only understand the target language and region, but also know your brand, industry, and field of expertise. Yet such costs pale beside the advantages, especially when you weigh the risks and harms of flawed localization.
If you want to succeed at localization, there is simply no substitute for an extra layer of unbiased quality assurance. Your internal staff could try to vet your translator’s work, if they have the time and bandwidth—but can they perform an objective, professional review that follows industry standards?
For many companies, the optimal solution is to hire a team of third-party experts to handle the language quality review process. In the end, you’ll benefit from treating the quality of localization as an essential factor in bringing products or services to market.
If you are interested in finding out more about Language Quality Management or would like to learn how we can help your localization efforts, please contact us below.