Translation Isn't Blind: Kill Internal Review or Optimize It?

There’s an ongoing appetite to debate the value of internally reviewing translation. Do you kill it, or optimize it? During this episode of Translation Isn't Blind, we dive into how you can optimize your process so that you can do a little bit of both.


Translation Isn't Blind: Internal Review: Kill it or optimize? from Smartling on Vimeo.

Internal review is a hotly debated topic.

If you need a refresher, internal review acts as an authenticity check for your brand’s translated content.

When your team decides to weave internal reviews into their workflow, it often consists of finding a dedicated person (typically someone who works within the company requesting the translations in the first place) to pause on their typical workload to review content for accuracy, messaging and everything in between.

It’s a lot of pressure, takes up time and resources and it isn’t always the most efficient process.

Let me explain.

Content is a business’ superpower. We know this (it’s why you are reading this right now)! It allows your audience to take in your messaging while helping them to formulate ideas about your services and reputation.

When a piece of content is translated and then sent back into the cycle of internal reviews, you can lose the momentum of sharing timely content.

If the reviewer isn’t hyper-focused on a quick turnaround time, the content can sit in a queue for months. Which, as we know in our rapidly accelerated techy lives, allows the content to become stale and eventually unusable. That’s a waste of resources and money.

If you are considering adding internal reviews to your process, first look at what you are translating and weigh the pros and cons.

Should you add internal review?

Just like any decision, there are benefits and downsides to consider.

Pros of internal reviews

  • Increased accuracy of messaging and grammatically correct translations (especially important if you work in any medical field or sell services or a product that could have detrimental life or death consequences).
  • You are new to having materials/content translated; this added step may provide peace of mind.

Cons of internal reviews

  • Can be a slow process (if you have urgent content to translate and get out the door, you must know this review can be time intensive). If the materials are high on the priority list, this may not be the right move for you at this moment.
  • Changes are often minimal. Smartling has seen content backed up for weeks and months and the only outcome is a comma change.
  • Resources. If you are trying to stay within a certain budget, you will have to add in expenses to make room for internal reviews to become part of your workflow.

Ditch internal review

If you’re still torn on whether or not to implement internal reviews, you can still begin to get your footing by applying the following tactics into your workflow right now:

1. Implement context from the get go

Context provides layers of added depth to your translations and can lessen the back and forth of emails. With a clear understanding of how content will be presented, the intentions behind it, and the overall goal of the project, translators can work towards a more accurate and authentic translation.

Visual context can make your translation team feel they are in the same room (from mood boards to product images) and gives translators an opportunity to see the finished product through the eyes of their eventual audience, which helps to tighten the efficiency and outcome of your projects.

Linguistic context holds the power to keep your workflow on brand (which ties right back into the authenticity check). Style Guides, Smartling’s accessible feature in the CAT tool that includes rules about your content formatting preferences, writing tone, and overall style.

Situational context is the varied subtleties of material you can include to bring content to life. Here is where local news, weather, humor and social references lives. The more details you can include, the clearer your content will become.

2. Integrate Smartling with your tech stack

Smartling makes it easy to keep your content flowing through the translation process seamlessly. With a simple API integrations, Smartling can link to your CMS to push and pull content as needed. As soon as content is moved into the platform, its assigned as a job to the appropraite resource.

And even better, project managers gain a birds-eye view of every project from the second its implemented, to the minute its published. Identify and avoid bottlenecks and keep content flowing.

Everyone will have insight to how much progress the translation process has made which can cut down on emails, meetings, and calls.

3. Leverage review mode

Review mode is another option for your consideration if you aren’t ready to fully commit to internal reviews.

Smartling’s newest solution brings context front and center to help reviewers see the final layout of content. When using Review Mode, reviewers can have everything in front of them by way of language and visuals to decide if the translation works as a whole piece (see visual context above).

Let’s Discuss

Still not sure if your internal review step is really necessary? Not quite sure if you want to roll internal review into your flow?

Visit our Learning Center to keep reading and tweet us @Smartling to get in touch! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Translation Isn't Blind

We're bringing translation into focus during our new mini webinar series, Translation Isn't Blind. There’s an ongoing appetite to debate the value of internally reviewing translation. Do you kill it, or optimize it? During this episode, we dive into how you can optimize your process so that you can do a little bit of both.

Translation Isn't Blind has more in store! Check out our other episodes below. 👇

S1 E3: Does quality even matter anymore?

Some would take the position that translation quality is paramount, while others may say it’s more important to get content published quickly. But where is the truth? Probably somewhere in the middle.

S1 E4: Your perspective matters.

Like all things in life, perspective prevails. Every business takes a different approach to manage translation quality, so why not take a closer look at what it means in the context of specific businesses? Let’s bring quality into focus: share your translation quality success stories or flops and we’ll discuss the themes behind each success and learning moment.

S1 E5: We translate because...

Conventional wisdom tells us that translation expands reach; and reach drives revenue. But what about unconventional wisdom - the out-of-the-box reasons for translating? As Dr. Stephen Covey says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Reframe how you talk about translation internally through untold stories about why other businesses translate.

S1 E6: Help me convince my manager

“Translation” lives in different places from one company to the next. Sometimes it’s managed by localization teams, and other times it’s managed by the product team. No matter how your organization decides who owns translation, it’s important that you reveal to your manager how and why translation adds value to the business - how translation isn’t blind.

About Laura

Laura Wyant is a freelance digital strategist and writer/editor. She is currently working with start-ups, tech companies, and health and healing spaces. Laura has been contributing to the Smartling blog on topics around cloud translation, digital strategy, and overall creative translation process. When she isn’t working in media, she is working to educate herself on matters such as intersectional women’s health and advancements in technology.