The translation workflow has five distinct phases:
This post covers the final phase, after translation has occurred.
You are at the home stretch of the translation workflow! But you’re not done yet. Last, but not least, you need to figure out what you are going to do with the content after it has been translated. It is best for you to have this figured out well in advance. If not, you will end up with a whole lot of files that are all dressed up with no place to go.
If you have a content management system, you will need to think about how the translations will be stored in the CMS. For example, will the files be linked to the source content, how will the translations be tagged, how will reusable pieces of content (such as illustrations) be handled, and so on. Without a CMS, you have to consider manually naming, storing, versioning, and retrieving the files.
Important questions to ask include:
- Who needs to be notified that the translations are complete?
- What file types are the translations stored in?
- Are the translations linked to each other?
- Are there additional files, such as illustrations, to consider?
- Is there a strategy for reusing applicable content?
- How are the translations being delivered?
- Are they printed?
- Are they provided online?
- Who is responsible for printing translations?
- Who is responsible for posting translations?
- Are translations released simultaneously with the source language?
There are additional types of assets to consider, as well. For example, your translation memories (TMs). If you have multiple LSPs working on similar content, you want to make sure that all of the TMs are in sync. The same is true with glossaries.
Responsibility for the glossaries and translation memories can differ, depending on your company and your LSP. I always advise that you, the customer, maintain control of all assets. If you cannot maintain them in-house, be sure that you legally own them and that your LSP provides them to you on an as-needed basis.
TMs and glossaries are almost always neglected after the project ends. We have good intentions. We always think that “someone” will get to the clean up tasks “later,” but it can wait. After all, we have important work to do now. Unfortunately, later almost never happens, which means that the next translation project starts from the place where the prior project ended. Imagine how much easier the translation task would be and how much higher the quality of the translations would be if we cleaned up the TMs and glossaries after each translation project? Language nirvana!
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
The translation workflow we have been reviewing for the past few weeks should be repeated each time you have a new translation project. Sure, there are some tasks that you will not have to figure out completely. But, overall, you should pay attention to expectation setting, delivery of source content, review of translation, receiving translated files, and sending the content on its way each and every time your content is destined for another language, culture, or part of the world.
If you pay careful attention each time, the quality of your translations will improve, your costs will decrease, and you’ll be quick to market. Everyone wins!
This post is part of the “Five Phases of Translation Workflow” series. You can download the free ebook all about the translation workflow here or check out the links to the entire series of blog posts below.
- Overview: The Five Phases of Translation Workflow
- Phase 1: Before content goes to translation
- Phase 2: Sending content to translation
- Phase 3: During translation
- Phase 4: How content returns from translation
- Phase 5: After content returns from translation
For more information about global content strategy, see my book Global Content Strategy: A Primer, available in a bundle of eBook formats (PDF, Kindle, ePub) from XML Press and in print or Kindle from Amazon.