In the translation industry there is proofreading, and then there is a more sophisticated and accurate form of reviewing a document at the client side known as “in-country reviewing”. In-country review is when a company sends translated material to a person (who most of the times already works for that company) to verify formatting and localization aspects. The main goal is for the material to be accepted by the local target audience. To ensure that this goal is reached, the reviewer must follow a series of linguistic and stylistic guidelines that are particular to the target language.
Who can do it?
Essentially anyone with knowledge of the product/service and more importantly with ample experience in the target language is considered qualified to perform an in-country review. It is essential that the reviewer has first-hand experience, or has a background in the target culture.
- From the start- If you want to take full advantage of the benefits of an in-country review, incorporate him from the beginning of the translation project. It is helpful to make your in-country reviewer part of the glossary creation: this involves the creation of a list of designated source language terms paired with a list of corresponding terms in the target language. In the end, when the time comes to perform the review, the job will become more simplified and the quality will be superior, as the proofreader will be better prepared to make any corrections.
- Plan with enough time- It is likely that your in-country reviewer has other duties besides doing the review. Let the person know the deadlines ahead of time.
- The reviewer- When performing the in-country review, the reviewer should restrain from making changes based on personal preferences. This could be avoided if the person is involved in the process from the start so he is familiarized with his role.
- You the client- Make sure the reviewer has the appropriate set of skills to do the task and that the task is fully understood. Do not use someone from the target country just because you think they must speak the language perfectly.
An in-country review is an enriching step of the translation process. Although not always available for lack of the appropriate resource, performing an in-country review is an excellent approach for assuring quality in the localization process.
For the success of the in-country review, the reviewer should:
1. Have a thorough knowledge of the product of the company they work for
2. Know the target language and have a strong linguistic background
3. Be responsive
4. Understand the expectations, goals and guidelines of the project
If one of these variables is not met your in-country reviewer, more than an asset, can become a burden for both the translation agency and your company. Setting the goal from the beginning and choosing the right person for the task will help you be successful with the quality of the localization effort in the shortest amount of time.