Handing off your content to be translated by a third party requires a high degree of trust. When you’re investing so heavily into a foreign market, you have to ensure that your brand remains consistent in the target language and that translation errors don’t reflect poorly on your company. That’s why we’ve created a simple, 4 step review that you can run in-house to assess the quality of your language service provider (LSP).
The most important part of a translation, you must first assess whether or not the meaning of your content is consistent from the source language to the target language. Ensure there is no ambiguity, and if there is, highlight it and rephrase the segment in question to pass back to your LSP. Often, meaning is lost when a segment is taken out of context so by redefining it with an alternate phrasing, the revision will be leagues stronger.
Once you’ve evaluated the meaning of the translation, take a look at wording. Did the translator use the most appropriate language for your target audience? If you provided a Style Guide and Glossary, there should be no issues in wording. If there are, tell your LSP to refer back to your reference materials and make the appropriate adjustments. This should most definitely be free of charge. If you didn’t provide such materials, suggest alternates or describe your target audience so the translator can better understand how the translation should read.
Simply put, a perfect translation has no errors. Grammar and spelling are sound, there are no repetitions, and formatting looks like the source copy.
Consistency of terms, typography, and style. If your LSP translates “business” to “société” in French at the beginning of the document, but “entreprise” at the end, that’s a red flag. This is also where you check that all bolded terms are the same in the source and target and that the correct fonts are implemented.