The checking – or revision – step is a key one in the translation flow, even more so in the case of marketing and promotional texts.
Over the years, revision jobs have taken on a significant share of my overall workload and I think the following are some key points worth keeping in mind when addressing checking jobs.
- If you’ve been asked to check a marketing translation, or a transcreation job, there will certainly be a translation brief. One of the major tasks of the reviser is to make sure the translator has followed and applied the brief, as well as other brand guidelines or standards, if available. For instance you may ask yourself if:
- The tone of voice of the target text is on brand;
- Indications about formal or informal type of address were adhered to;
- The customer’s or brand’s local language preferences were followed (e.g., how to write web addresses, whether to switch to local currencies, adapt measurements, etc.);
- The customer’s glossary, if any, was used correctly;
- In case of pre-existing materials, if this new piece fits in well.
- In today’s business world, where turnaround times are getting shorter and shorter, sometimes translators need to work fast. So it may happen words get lost along the way: check that everything included in the source text is present in the target one. It may sounds a mundane task, but it’s not.
- If you give a text to ten different translators, you will get ten different translations. We all know that. And that is also what makes “human” translation so unique and rich. This is even more so with marketing or creative translations. So respecting the translator’s choices and point of view is crucial. If there’s something you want to discuss, discuss it; if you think one choice instead of another could improve the translation, suggest it. Just don’t enforce your point of view, as that is not your original work, as a reviser. In other words, purely personal changes and edits are a no go.
- Verify the internal concordance and logic of the target text: sometimes source texts contain mistakes or do not use terminology consistently. If you can produce a better target text (while diplomatically highlighting the faults of the original text to the agency or the customer), thumbs up. The final text should makes sense: ideally, it should be a unified, cohesive piece, consistent in terms of brand voice, register, form of address, terminology, style, grammar use (e.g. active/passive voice), spelling.
- Make sure you haven’t introduced mistakes or inaccuracies: double-check your edits and run a final spell-check before delivering.
Tip – Discover all the different terms used to describe the revision task in my Small Glossary of Language Services.
About the author
Laura Cattaneo is an Italian solo entrepreneur in the field of marketing, creative and legal translation and editing, specialist in hospitality, luxury and digital. She puts her many years of experience to the advantage of her clients by creating texts resonating with the Italian-speaking audience and making brands locally relevant. Connect with her on LinkedIn or visit her website.