Imagine you are tasked to organize people in different countries, operating in different time zones, with different cultures and languages, not reporting to you, 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 proof of a translation localization 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:
- Choose the right individuals. The more connected you are with your international offices the more aware you will be of your options. Pick a person that has excellent command of the local language and your product, and that is motivated to help. If you don’t have a choice, still qualify them to make sure that your agendas are aligned and then work constantly on motivating them.
- Provide your proofreaders all the information they need about the project, the tools that they will use, and the process that they will follow. Do that before the translation starts so that 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 to ensure that they have full control over their tasks and to follow all the appropriate steps. Unlike professional translators, your in-country proofreaders are not expected to know how to use translation memory tools or deal with terminology or specialized translation file formats.
- Get your 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. Giving them ownership and ability to influence the end-quality early in the process makes them feel part of the overall process, and not just an afterthought, or the go to person to fix all problems in the last minute.
- Enable your 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, to communicate answers to translator queries, to preview the terminology or even to edit the translation online. We will address in the next post these translation technologies in more detail.
- Pin down the file hand-off process so that translated vs. proofed files are not confused or lost.
- Allow for your translators to see the changes that are implemented by the proofreaders to learn any style or terminology nuances, or preferences, and to correct any inconsistencies, typos or grammatical errors.
- Enable a process that facilitates the inclusion of the corrections from 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.
- Allow 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 proofreaders positive reinforcement often throughout the project. You can influence them through proper motivation and leadership.
This whitepaper presents applicable ten tips that will help you navigate through the requirements of your translation services needs and deliver quality messages that will resonate with your users. Download it for free!