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Why Include a Review of Your translation by an In-Country Affiliate in Your Project Schedule?

This is a key question clients should ask themselves before planning their project schedule and budget. There are as many answers as there are formats for translation.

This type of process is referred to as an in-country review or client review and plays an important role in ensuring quality, consistency, and compliance for your project. The final translated or localized materials are sent to client-assigned reviewers in the target country to review linguistic and formatting issues. The following formats present their own special requirements:

•   Printed materials; i.e., brochures, ads, medical guides, patient information, informed consent, and marketing materials: Key elements to review are specific product names, regional phrasing, appropriate language.
•   Recorded materials; i.e., scripts, voice-overs, radio or TV commercials, videos: Key elements to review are timing, tone and gender of the voices, regional accents, proper message conveyed.
•   Localization; i.e., websites, software, banner ads: Key elements to review are clarity of terminology, functionality, consistency.

The goal of this type of review is to reinforce acceptance for the product in the target locale. If possible, it is best to establish the criteria for these reviews at the beginning of your project. This helps to set the guidelines and expectations for the reviewer and client.

It would be ideal for a reviewer to have a linguistic background, solid product knowledge, and reviewing experience. For the more complicated documents it is also wise to include someone with a legal background specific to the product. Whoever is assigned to do the review, it is critical that a clear set of instructions be provided as well as a schedule for timely feedback. Your project manager can assist you in developing these from the start of the project.

A checklist of items to consider when planning your project includes:

•   Selecting reviewers as far in advance of a project as possible;
•   Creating locale specific glossaries and style guides before the project begins;
•   Establishing a realistic deadline for comments to be returned;
•   Establishing the methodology for capturing those comments;
•   Providing clear guidelines and instructions for the reviewer; and
•   Batching review comments if there are multiple reviewers.

When planned in advance with clearly set expectations and realistic schedules, the in-country or client review can be a powerful means to secure the success of your project in the global market.

Published - April 2009

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