It has often been noted that a key characteristic of language translation is its handcrafted nature. While machine translation has its place, depending upon the quality of the desired deliverable, human judgment and terminology preferences are translation issues we consider carefully in our industry.
We also regard our relationship with our clients as a partnership and suggest that a dialogue on terminology preferences serves both parties. It should come as no surprise that a one-to-one correspondence between two languages does not always exist—just as synonyms exist in the English language, they can also be found in target translated languages.
Within industries, companies, even divisions, terminology preferences abound. Taking an example from the project management realm, the business of deconstructing a project at its completion can be referred to as a postmortem, a project wrap, a post-project review, etc.
We strongly recommend in-country reviews on the client side, when schedules and resources allow it. Although referred to as “in-country,” these are often performed by a colleague who speaks the target language and is familiar with the terminology choices, often regarding proprietary products and processes, in use in that language within the company.
Reviewing such preferences allows us to incorporate them into our translation memory database, so that continuous upgrades in customizing output can be achieved. Please see additional information on this process in our data sheet “In-Country Review Tips.”
Another helpful technique to allow vendor and client to “stay on the same page” on terminology is the development of a pre-project glossary—a list of terms that are selected either by the client or the vendor, and then translated and reviewed by client-side resources. This process is often less daunting than a full in-country review, but can yield significant results in customization. Ideally, both a glossary and final review can be undertaken; in either case, the gains in both productivity and customer satisfaction accrue over time, meaning that such reviews take progressively less time to complete.
If you find your company in need of in-country reviews, check out our Review Tips for Busy Professionals.