What Are You Forgetting to Tell Your Translator?

One often-overlooked part of the translation process, from a client standpoint, is the stage in which the translator asks questions and requests feedback from the client. This stage of the process is called the “question and feedback cycle” and it’s more important than you might think.

What is the question and feedback cycle during a translation project?

In this stage of the document translation process, the project manager, in communication with the translator(s), will collate any questions that have come up and present them to the client. With the understanding that our clients’ time is very valuable, questions are kept as concise and closed as possible, and can be for accuracy (“In this context does the phrase long-term engagement refer to a period of time longer than 12 months?”) or to clarify company-specific jargon or an unknown term (“Can you provide a brief definition of the term covfefe?”).

Why would a qualified translator need to ask questions in the first place?

BridgeLanguages works with professional and certified translators who are not only fully bilingual in both the document’s source language and target language, but who also have expertise in the subject matter of your content. So why do they have questions?

This is because even within a certain industry, companies may use different terms to describe the same thing. As an example, a “project superintendent” for one construction firm may be referred to as a “project manager” at another, despite having the same role. These changes in terminology begin to introduce entirely new contextual backgrounds for the content being translated. That is to say, a translation can be rendered to more specific demands through the question and feedback cycle.

Does the feedback and question stage slow the project down?

No, not necessarily, since we factor this important stage into the entire document translation process when creating your project timeline. However, even if the question and feedback cycle does extend the project’s timeline slightly, this crucial step is well worth the extra time, since it lead to a well-rendered, high-quality translation that will ultimately save time and money on future corrections and revisions down the road.

 Is it possible to avoid the question and feedback cycle altogether?

While it may not be avoided altogether, the feedback cycle can be minimized substantially with proper planning at the start of the project. You can help the translator create a seamless translation with fewer questions by providing as much contextual information and detail at the outset as possible. This includes examples of any previous translation work your organization has been happy with, glossaries of unique terms that will be used (whether in English or in the target language), product information sheets, and any other pertinent information.

Guidance from your BridgeLanguages project manager is key to a short feedback and question cycle and to the overall success of your translation project. If you’re interested in learning more about how translations can work for your organization, check out 3 Reasons your Company Needs a Proactive Language Strategy.

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