3 Things You Need to Know About Document Localization and In-country Review

  |  September 6, 2017

Consider these factors when using native speakers to review document localization services.

As a company looking to expand into foreign markets, you want to make sure your message is correctly and accurately conveyed as originally intended. Doing so requires translation services that not only translate your content but also localize it in a way that reflects cultural and local nuances.

Because much of language is local to a specific area, it may seem logical to use your company’s native speakers as part of the document localization process. But while in-country reviews of translated documents seem like a good idea, they very often aren’t—adding headaches to the process and extra time and budget to your project scope.

If your company plans to use its native speakers as part of the translation process, there are three key factors  you should consider. Read on for some insight.

Choose the Right Reviewer for Your Document Localization

Not everyone is a language expert. And you shouldn’t expect your native speakers to be, either. But you should give careful consideration to which native speakers you’re using in the translation review process.

There are multiple characteristics to look for. If you’re having native speakers review translated documents from your language services vendor, you want to ensure that they are good communicators, effectively take direction and stay within established parameters, and have a mastery of the local language, the culture, and your company.

Establish Clear Guidelines for What Feedback Is Expected for Document Localization

When using native speakers to review translated documents, you need to set clear boundaries with the in-country reviewers, making certain to clarify the type of feedback desired and the reviewers’ role in the process.

All too frequently, when no clear guidelines are established, reviewers take it upon themselves to nitpick the document in its entirety. They may mark the document up with all sorts of edits, including personal preferences related to content and wording.

So, from the get-go, make it clear to your native speakers what type of feedback is helpful and expected—and what type of feedback is unnecessary and unwanted.

Reiterate the Importance of Project Deadlines for Document Localization

Your translation services vendor is expected to adhere to project deadlines from start to finish, completing document localization within a specified timeframe.

When you add one of your employees into the mix, as a native speaker who’s reviewing the translation, you also add the immense potential for timeline derailment.

That’s because your company’s employees already have job descriptions—and tasks that they are regularly expected to complete. They’ll likely be completing review of translated documents around their normal schedule.

Because of this, it’s important to stress that they must complete reviews within the timeframe you specify. Otherwise, they can become a bottleneck in the process, rather than a valued resource.

Thinking about using your company’s native speakers in your translation process, but aren’t sold on the benefits of in-country reviews? Register for our upcoming webinar to learn more about the realities of in-country reviews—and how to best use your native speakers. Reading this article too late to sign up? No worries! You can tune in to the recording!