The devil is in the DETAILS!

When I first heard this popular saying I was starting a new career at GlobalVision International, Inc. managing its detailsproduction group. Our company specializes in providing translation and localization solutions to a wide variety of industries, supporting just about any electronic file format.

While projects are planned and initiated, my team spends the needed time to understand the client requirements in full DETAILS to put in place the correct production workflow. This always involves looking at the files in great DETAIL 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 move on with the rest of the time to go over the involved DETAILS and have them highlighted and noted in our Quality Assurance steps.

Some people think translation is just a matter of words being converted from one language to another making localization 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, or a relay race, where the baton exchange should be done between clients, account managers, project managers, translators, reviewers, in-country proofreaders, and all the way down the road to the software and DTP engineers, with as much DETAIL as possible to keep the race going until the finish line! Moreover, we think localization is a building procedure where all the stakeholders exchange all the needed DETAILS to facilitate understanding and improve quality!

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 know that an image should be kept on the same page because the text reference to it in the paragraph that precedes it says “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 senseless! 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.

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