How to Review Translations

Even Though You Don't Speak the Language

Piece of cake, gang. I just followed the guidelines for review at the NOW Translations web site and
I had everything whipped into shape in no time.

Following are a few guidelines designed to help expedite and assist in the review.

Select reviewers who are native speakers of the translated language and who are also proficient in the source language (non-native speakers, no matter how much of the language they've studied, won't do).
Make reviewers aware that language review is an integral part of their job description and not something to be avoided or tarried over. In addition, it's relatively painless and fast.
Give reviewers deadlines for returning comments. Deadlines must be adhered to.
4 Ideally, review comments should be made on text files only, not laid-out translations (DTP). Making changes on DTP'd materials is more time-consuming and can result in added charges.
5 Reviewers must have the English source text (PDFs or printouts) in addition to the translated files when reviewing the translation for comparison and to ensure accuracy.
6 Reviewers must avoid stylistic changes; in other words, don't re-write the translation so it says the same thing, only in a different way (while valid reviewer changes are handled at no further charge to the client, stylistic changes may be charged and can delay the project).
7 Reviewers should not put question marks next to a translated item. If they don't understand or like an item we translated, we need a suggestion about it; question marks don't help.
8 Any changes to technical terminology concerning the client's products and services are appreciated. If the client has a glossary of company terms, please e-mail those to us for future projects.
9 MS Word's Track Changes or Adobe Acrobat Full Version
Reviewers should not change the translations directly! They should use MS Word's Track Changes tool to suggest changes; this leaves the original translation intact. When the reviewer uses Track Changes, it allows us to see what changes the reviewer made, then easily accept valid suggestions. We don't accept inconsistencies, grammatical mistakes, or typos.

The Track Changes feature is located in the Tools pull-down menu. Select Track Changes, Highlight Changes, and check the box “Track changes while editing.” then click OK.

Depending on your version of MS Word, the process may differ slightly.

Another excellent reviewer's tool is the full version of Adobe Acrobat which allows the reviewer to take a PDF of our translation and make notes wherever a change is requested. This tool is only available in the full version of Adobe Acrobat (a highly recommended purchase).

If reviewers don't follow the above guidelines or their changes are inappropriate or incorrect (or late), it may push the deadline and can even add to the costs.

Back to Understanding Translations