Reviewing the review – why is it important?

A very important step in the localisation process that many companies already regularly do (but just as many don’t) is sending the edited translation back to the original translator for finalisation.

Why do I think this step is essential?

You can get feedback on your editor’s work.

The translator can provide you with feedback on the editor’s work: are their changes actually relevant or did they get a bit zealous with their amendments? Did they introduce mistakes? Did they ignore preferred terminology? Having this kind of feedback about your editor is just as important as knowing how good your translator is. You should know how every member of your localisation team works.

As editors are human, too, they are not infallible either.

Editors can make mistakes, as well. If you send the edited text back to the original translator, they will pick up any possible errors and keep only the edits that indeed improve the original translation. The result is an improved text without any mistakes!

Sometimes the translator can come up with an even better solution.

Having some time between delivering their translation and receiving feedback means that the translator can look at the text with a fresh pair of eyes, think of solutions they might not have thought before. They can sometimes even come up with a completely new phrase or expression here and there that further improves the text.

Receiving regular feedback improves the quality of a translator’s work.

We learn from our mistakes, right? If a translator has access to the edited text and sees what the editor changed – assuming they are good suggestions – the translator can learn from them. This means they can become an even better professional. You, as a client can only win with this, too!

If the translator gives their name to it, they should see the final version.

It should be only natural that in cases where the translator is named in the final “product”, they should be able to say that this is indeed the text they had translated. They should be able to make informed decisions about the final version of the translation based on the editor’s suggestions – of course, always in agreement with you, the client or author!

In conclusion

I am personally always very happy when I am given the opportunity to finalise my own translation. Luckily most of my clients follow this practice! I have found some invaluable feedback about my own work in these reviewed texts. But I have also caught a few errors introduced by the editor that would have been a mistake to leave in the final text.

Sending the edited translation back to the original translator might take some extra time but the advantages hugely outweigh this disadvantage. By incorporating this one step in the translation process, we can make sure that all parties involved are satisfied with the final text.

Do you have a question about revision, finalising a translation or translation? Get in touch with me via my Contact page!

(The article is an edited version of my LinkedIn post posted in November 2021.)

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