7 Tips for a Smooth Localization Project: Part Seven

Translation projects can fail for a variety of reasons. Tight deadlines, a lack of processes or simply because there’s no understanding – or agreement – between the client and their Language Services Provider (LSP) on expectations. In the series so far we’ve covered a broad range of topics to help you ensure your translation projects run smoothly, and that you have the basic steps in place to make the most of your translation partner. In our last blog, we explored the importance of the client-review role, and how it’s a critical step to avoid any translation errors creeping into your content.
As we wrap up the series, we’ll look at two final points to help you establish an efficient query process, and deliver your translation projects on time, and to budget.
It’s important to remember that if all requirements are in place and expectations have been discussed, the project is likely to go smoothly. With a good handoff – and before launching a project – everyone should know what they need to do and when, but make sure that is the case. It is especially important to involve and prepare your internal resources on the steps that involve them so they feel like an integral part of the process and don’t become bottlenecks.

Establish an efficient query process

A healthy query process should be easy for everyone involved. The translator must feel comfortable asking questions, so query responders should be generous and quick with their answers. Be honest in the feedback – if it’s not right, or could be improved, don’t be afraid to let them know. For clarity and future use, this process should be done in writing, but sometimes a quick phone call can be very efficient. If responses are obtained verbally, however, the translator must make sure to confirm them in writing. The American Translators Association has an excellent guide on the query process.

It's time to deliver the project

If all has gone well during planning and execution, your translation project will be delivered on time, on budget and on quality. If you have any complaints, refer to the remediation options you have agreed to in the SLA. But if you are happy with the project results, make sure to express your appreciation. After all, everyone involved in a translation project is only human, and if they feel valued, they will do an even better job next time – for no extra cost.

Managing a translation project isn’t simply a case of emailing a document to a translator and then receiving the completed work back. It’s a two-way relationship that requires investment from both parties. By putting more time into the relationship, and having the ability to provide constructive feedback, then you will have everything in place for your translations to resonate with its intended audience.