Stop the frustration! Simple review processes with multiple participants

Text corrections and verifications being done by and involving several colleagues are often challenging even in just one language. When different partners and subsidiaries are involved in translated texts, the review process becomes even more complex. We address the standard challenges and explain how the complex process can be implemented effectively and how reviews can be carried out intuitively while taking all relevant resources into account.

Too many cooks and no common recipe?

The review and verification processes for specialised translations for international companies usually involve a wide variety of reviewers, departments, national or sales subsidiaries. Corrections and modifications come from all sides, in all forms and formats: tracked changes in Word files, annotated PDFs or scans of handwritten corrections. It is also not uncommon for comments to be sent by e-mail or for text passages to be copied out and corrected in a separate file.

Complex processes with multiple challenges

Keeping track of all the desired changes therefore proves to be a real challenge. Different formats require a lot of attention and increase the amount of effort involved in transferring the corrections into the final document. Depending on the format, important language resources such as translation memories and terminology databases may not be available, which means that corrections may be made “outside of the specifications”. Unfortunately, incorrect corrections are also part of everyday life in this context, as not all correction formats enable automatic spell checks.

The time factor also plays a role: Due to the different parties involved, corrections can also be made retrospectively, even if the project appears to have already been completed. And the fact that too many cooks can spoil the broth also applies to specialised translations, where correction requests from several involved parties can, in the worst case, contradict each other and create an additional need for coordination.

However, contradictory corrections are not a phenomenon that can only occur in processes with several participants: if corrections are only made in one place, even though the technical term or sentence appears several times in the document, this leads to inconsistency.
When terminology is changed, there is also a need to clarify whether the corresponding technical term should also be changed for future translations.

Detached from any language resources, the sustainability of the corrections is also negatively affected: if changes are not transferred into the translation memory (TM), they will have to be made over and over again. If they are made directly in the document, they are not generally recorded and used for subsequent translations. The translation service provider is often also not informed that something has already been corrected, resulting in the old, uncorrected texts from the TM being played out again and having to be adapted again in the next translation project. The frustration of those tasked with correcting the texts is inevitable and understandable.

This is because reviewing texts is often only a secondary task in the subsidiaries. Depending on the product and the volume of work, different people are involved who are not familiar with the translation process. Often information is simply added or entire passages deleted. In national branches in particular, reviewers often do not understand the source language and therefore only correct the target text without knowing what has actually been translated.

Decisive steps towards an important goal

The aim is therefore to design the complex review and final verification process in such a way that everyone involved is optimally integrated with as little effort as possible. Three factors contribute significantly to achieving this.

Firstly: for reviewers without knowledge of the source language, it is advisable to integrate a relay language. This ensures that the translation can be checked for completeness and correctness. It also prevents corrections being made to the source text or parts of the text simply being deleted or added.

Secondly: so that everyone involved can work in unison and with the same level of knowledge, we recommend creating a guide to revising. This contains clear instructions, such as not deviating from the specified terminology, making consistent corrections, not deleting any content and not making any unnecessary corrections. The format in which corrections are to be made can also be recorded in such a guide.

Thirdly: to avoid switching contact persons and careless reviews, we advise clearly defining responsibilities. If, for example, the marketing department of the German parent company writes a text, it must be clarified how much freedom the subsidiaries have to make changes. Are they also allowed to rewrite the content of the text or should only a technical/terminology review be carried out? Such agreements – some of which will be text- or department-specific – can also be included in a guide.

… and a clever solution

In order to make the complex and extensive review process efficient and manageable, a working environment must be created in which reviews can be carried out intuitively – and which integrates all relevant resources, such as terminology data, translation memories and reference files.

For this, we recommend oneReview: This online correction platform makes it easy and convenient to check and finalise translation results by integrating all language resources and using relay languages in the layout.

Would you like to give oneReview a try? Then make an appointment now for a live demo.

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