Translation Details Are Key

The Devil Is in the Details!

Devil looking through magnifying glass for translation details

When I first heard the popular saying “the devil is in the details,” I was starting a new career at GlobalVision International, Inc. I am now managing its production group. Our company specializes in providing translation and localization solutions to a wide variety of industries. We support just about any electronic file format.

The Importance of Details

While we plan and initiate projects, my team spends the needed time to understand the client requirements. We do that in full details to put in place the correct production workflow. This always involves looking at the files in great detail. It is mainly to ensure that we pinpoint all the necessary steps needed before the project kickoff.

When I meet my team to introduce the project, I take couple of minutes to remind everyone of the conventional steps. Then I move on with the rest of the time to go over the involved details. I have them highlighted and noted in our Quality Assurance steps.

Relay Race

Some people think translation is just a matter of words being converted from one language to another. Or localization is just a matter of translating files and compiling the product so it displays in another language.

We think however that localization is a detail oriented process. It is like a relay race. A race where the baton exchanges hands with clients, account managers, project managers, translators, reviewers, in-country proofreaders, all the way down to the software and DTP engineers. They all need as much detail as possible to keep the race going until the finish line!

Moreover, we think localization is a building procedure. One where the stakeholders exchange all the needed details to facilitate understanding and improve quality!

Importance of Detail

For those who cannot see it yet, let’s go into one quick descriptive detail.

A DTP engineer who does not speak the target language would never detect embedded mistakes. For instance, an image should be kept on the same page due to text referencing it in the paragraph that precedes it saying “if you need more info look at the Figure at the bottom of the page”. For space considerations, he or she will move it to the next page and the text would become inaccurate!

The same DTP engineer would also never know if the text in a table should be sorted because the text preceding it says “look at the sorted list of messages in the table below,” or at least remove that text reference if the table cannot be sorted. A quick detailed report or comments about these instances from the translator can make a real difference.

Successful Translation Details

This is my 17th year at GlobalVision dealing with details every day with every project and I never saw the Devil, nor sensed it on our premises! Instead I am very proud of all the success stories that we have achieved with our clients because of our firm belief that “quality is in the details!”

Contributed by Nassif Ephrem

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