In compliance with our EN-15038 quality certification, all SimulTrans translations undergo revision by a second qualified translator as standard before delivery to customers. However, it’s rarely possible (or indeed desirable!) to apply the same revision process to all projects. All of our customers at SimulTrans have different requirements – different text types, different target audiences, different quality expectations, different timelines and so on.
While revision is a standard term in the translation industry, there is a dearth of published data available on the practicalities of this process. We’d therefore like to share details here of a revision process that has been tailored to suit one of our major customers, a Fortune Top 50 company.
The project requirements for this customer are challenging:
- fast turnaround (often same day or within 48 hours)
- complex project instructions
- variety of subject matter fields
Taking these requirements into account, the following steps are included in the customized revision process:
1. Qualify and train the revisers
Revisers undergo the same strict qualification process as all SimulTrans translators: they must have appropriate linguistic qualifications, a minimum of 3 years’ industry experience and have passed a series of translation tests. Once assigned to these ongoing projects, revisers are given basic and ongoing training by SimulTrans project managers on how to revise the projects. They are taught, for example, how to assess the severity of errors, how to avoid introducing errors, and how to make changes most efficiently.
2. Enable direct communication between translators and revisers
Revisers receive translated texts directly from translators within a server-based translation environment, together with any translator comments or queries for clarification. This technology allows all linguists to share concerns and knowledge immediately. Project managers and coordinators are copied on the exchanges, but no time is wasted forwarding emails.
3. Apply the SimulTrans revision protocol
- First carry out a monolingual check on the target text for coherence, fluency and any obvious errors. Implement changes as necessary.
- Compare the target text with the source text (on paper if it is longer than a page) for meaning and completeness. Implement changes in the files as necessary. This is generally the most time-consuming part of revision.
- Check for recurring errors and customer preferences. Implement changes as necessary.
- Use Xbench, or a similar automated QA tool, to check bilingual files for consistency (particularly important for larger projects) and glossary compliance. Implement changes as necessary, and re-run the checks.
- Run a spell-check and make required corrections before final delivery
4. Include the customer in the feedback loop
- Forward any remaining queries/comments to the project manager/customer.
- Maintain and share feedback – including customer replies to queries - in an online project log for translators and project managers.
In conclusion: Is revision worth it?
Based on the positive quality feedback received to date from this particular Top 50 Fortune company (scores of very good to excellent received for over 90% of projects!), the revision process we’ve developed at SimulTrans has proven highly effective.
Revision is a laborious and time-consuming process, as any translator or copywriter will testify. However, with appropriate translator training, clearly defined process and valuable input from our customers, it has proven an essential component in ensuring that we meet and exceed project requirements. If you have more questions about revision, or any other aspect of translation quality assurance, feel free to contact your account manager at SimulTrans or email@example.com.