This is part 2 of this post. For part 1, please follow this link.
- There are two types of inconsistency. The first type is inconsistency at the term level. To avoid errors of this kind, we use tools such as glossaries and QA Distiller to automatically check for any discrepancies. A client’s editor doesn’t always recognize the importance of consistency and doesn’t have the proper tools to maintain it. The second type is inconsistency at the sentence level. The translation environment tools we routinely use in our work provide specific functions that make it extremely simple to avoid any discrepancies of this kind. This means that a similar sentence is unlikely to be translated differently within a project. A client’s editor, by contrast, typically works in Microsoft Word, which isn’t designed to provide such functions. Imagine that you spent your morning editing half of a translation project, then switched to some other tasks during the day, and finally returned to the project in the evening. When you come across a sentence that is an exact match of, or very similar to, a sentence you edited in the morning, chances are that you won’t remember your previous edits accurately and make a different edit or no edit at all. These small inconsistencies may add up in the long run, making the translation misleading.
- Because a client’s editor often uses Microsoft Word for “surprise” review, the project’s translation memory doesn’t get updated. This is exactly what happened to us last week. What this means is that for future translations, folks will use outdated TM, resulting in inconsistency, lower translators’ performance, and yes, misleading translations.
- The “surprise” review means that a client’s editor did not provide the changes for revision to the original translator. This is always a risk, since the translator is usually able to point out any incorrect changes, including the above-mentioned types of errors. By doing review in a “surprise” fashion, you miss the chance to make sure the translation is flawless and also educate your translator. You might end up with the translation that contains multiple errors and the translation vendor who is unaware of your changes and will stick to the old translations in any future work for you. This cycle will repeat itself until you let the vendor know about your edits.
To conclude, we highly recommend avoiding “surprise” review and using the normal review process instead. All it takes is just one simple step: send your edits to your translator. A professional translator will then take care of the rest: check your edits, fix any errors or inconsistencies, update the TM, and learn from your edits for better translations in the future. Good luck!
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