Imagine your boss asks you to organize people in different countries, operating in different time zones, with different cultures and languages. They do not report to you, yes you need to get them to participate in what will be a very laborious task. In addition, these people are committed to doing other jobs that normally take up all their work time. Finally, it is very likely that you cannot offer them incremental pay! Those who have been involved in coordinating in-country linguistic proof of a translation project understand how difficult the task can be.
In-Country Linguistic Proof
Attending to the above is a major undertaking for even the most experienced project manager. Aren’t you overwhelmed yet? Here are 10 important steps to follow to turn this challenge into a successful endeavor.
The more connected you are with your international offices the more aware you will be of your options. Pick people with excellent command of the local language and your product. Make sure they are motivated to help. If you don’t have a choice, still qualify them to make sure that your agendas are aligned. Then work constantly on motivating them.
2. Supply Needed Assets
Provide your in-country linguistic proofreaders all the information they need about the project. Supply them with the tools that they will use, and the process that they will follow. Do that before the translation starts. This way they are setup early and can ask questions when there is still time to address them.
Provide necessary training on the tools or processes that they will use. This will ensure that they have full control over their tasks and to follow all the appropriate steps. Unlike professional translators, your in-country linguistic proofreaders are not expected to know how to use translation memory tools. They also don’t know how to deal with terminology or specialized translation file formats.
4. Verify Terminology
Get your in-country linguistic proofreaders to review the terminology in their own languages early and to approve them. Give them a chance to influence them before the translation starts, and while it is ongoing. Do not make them feel like just an afterthought, or the go to person to fix all problems in the last minute. Giving them ownership and ability to influence the end-quality early in the process makes them feel part of the overall process.
5. Enable Use of Technology
Enable your in-country linguistic proofreaders with technology to facilitate their work and communicate with the project stakeholders. Most people like to use MS Word to type corrections, or simply annotate PDF files. Try to make the proof task work with these simple tools. However, give them access to an easy to use, but robust translation management system. It will allow them to communicate answers to translator queries, to preview the terminology or even to edit the translation online. We address in future posts these translation technologies in more detail.
6. Establish Process
Pin down the file hand-off process of the in-country linguistic proof so that translated vs. proofed files are not confused or lost.
7. Enable Feedback
Allow for your translators to see the changes that in-country linguistic proofreaders implement. This will help them learn any style or terminology nuances, or preferences, and to correct any inconsistencies, typos or grammatical errors.
8. Instill Excellence
Enable a process that facilitates the inclusion of the corrections from in-country linguistic proofreaders into the Translation Memories for future reuse. You want to avoid asking your proofreaders to apply the same changes each time your source changes. It will demotivate them from doing their work in future releases.
9. Afford Time
Allow in-country linguistic proofreaders ample time to complete their work. Remember, they don’t report to you and you don’t control their time or paychecks.
Give your in-country linguistic proofreaders positive reinforcement often throughout the project. You can influence them through proper motivation and leadership.
You can read more about how to handle translation proof on this post.
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