To make sure our translations are valuable we follow an industry-standard process of handling translation requests.
This model is flexible model and depending on time constraints a shorter path can be chosen. However any shortcut obviously reduces the effort and amount of attention the product receives. The core of the process are linguistic activities. Pre-process and post-process are mostly technical activities.
- Content analysis and RFQ (cost and TAT evaluation)
- Allocation to production teams
- Conversion of files into translatable format
- Preparation of project instructions
The core process also known as TEP includes
Creation of glossary that usually precedes TEP is an optional activity, but depending on the volume (one-time translation or long-term cooperation) and the subject matter (highly specialized industry or general) you may consider to create one, especially if your account is going to be regular and growing. However, it is more practical to create a glossary along with translation, as the terms selection and translations can be elaborated further during the TEP.
Translation: Creation of a source-to-target language translation by a linguist or a pool of linguists who are proficient with the specific subject matter.
Editing: Review of the translated text usually by an SME or a senior expert. Please note that in some new industries an SME in a specific subject matter is not always available simply because the industry is new or not popular. Solar energy would be a good example for Russia. This industry is widely spread in Southern Europe which enjoys 300 sunny days per year, but in Russia the climate is different and there are very few companies who work in this area. While the availability of SME’s in solar energy is very low, a general technical expert in energy equipment would be the reasonable choice here. The editor checks the target text for accuracy, completeness, fluency, and consistency of terminology.
Proofreading: Performed by a third native speaker of the target language, this step ensures there are no formal linguistic errors and the target text reads naturally. Proofreaders are also involved in post-process activity (layout checking).
When TEP is done translation can be verified (approved) by the client and implementation of changes is performed (this is included in the standard rates). Please note that validation of feedback by professional linguists is a mandatory step. Even though the client is the owner of the final product, only the linguists are responsible for the quality of the final product. The client reviewer is usually is NOT a professional linguist and their feedback require validation so that no typos or inconsistencies are introduced.
Post-process (DTP, multimedia engineering)
This part of the localization process usually involves DTP or multimedia engineering. Whether you choose outsource the technical part, or do it on your side, it is highly recommended that linguists are involved in checking the final layout of a PDF, or whether subtitles are in sync with the video, etc. This activity is often referred to as In-Context Review, Converted Format Review, Linguistic Sign-off, or Gate Keeping, and it usually helps avoid bugs that may not be visible in the translation environment.