Translation Proofreading

How to Prevent Localization Issues With Translation Proofreading

When you enter a new market in a foreign country, you need to create localized marketing materials that make an outstanding first impression to establish your brand presence and gain a foothold in the marketplace.

Everything from websites and sales letters to brochures and mobile apps should represent your brand appropriately and resonate with the local audience. The content must be as accurate as possible—any textual, grammatical, or stylistic errors could damage your credibility.

As such, all your content must be proofread thoroughly to ensure that it’s not only grammatically correct but also addresses the cultural nuances, local expressions, and preferences of the local market.

All sounds good… until you realize that (1) you’re localizing content for multiple locales, (2) you have thousands of pieces of content that need to be proofread, and (3) you don’t even speak most of those languages!

How can you handle translation proofreading cost-effectively without losing your sanity?

What Is Translation Proofreading and Why Is It Important For Localization Projects?

Proofreading is the process of checking translated content for errors. Translation proofreaders detect issues involving grammar, spelling, word usage, punctuation, formatting, and tone. They also ensure that the text reads naturally in the target language and delivers the intended message to the target audience.

The Importance of Translation Proofreading in Localization Projects

Localization projects, especially those involving several languages, are time-consuming and expensive. Once you have invested money and effort into translating your content, it’s crucial to make sure no mistakes slip through. Otherwise, you might end up losing your audience.

Translation proofreading can save you from costly post-launch corrections and ensure that your brand’s image is accurately represented in the target market. The process also helps you avoid mistakes that can affect local SEO rankings, damage your reputation, impact your credibility, hurt your sales numbers, and lead to a frustrating customer experience.

Proofreaders fluent in both the source and target language can help you check for conceptual or technical nuances to ensure that they’re represented accurately in the final content. If you’re in a highly regulated sector, translation proofreading can help avoid errors and mistakes that could land you in legal hot waters.

Meanwhile, the use of machine translation (MT) has become more popular. Although it helps speed up the localization process, the translated text often misses critical nuances and cultural references. For marketing materials and creating writing, adding the human touch is essential for ensuring that the localized content is of the highest quality.

strengths and weaknesses of machine translation

How Translation Proofreading Support Fuzzy Translation

The use of fuzzy translation (also called fuzzy matching) in machine translation increases the cost-efficiency of the localization process. But it’s not a perfect solution. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Fuzzy Translation?

Fuzzy matching is a form of computer-assisted translation that employs specific cases of record linkage. The technology can navigate imperfect matches to identify correspondences between a text segment and entries in translation memories (TM).

What Is Fuzzy Translation?

Fuzzy translation isn’t perfect. Translation memories don’t always contain the exact phrasing that requires translation. They may be out-of-date or contain mistranslations that lead to inaccurate results. Also, fuzzy translation may not be able to handle texts that are difficult to rephrase.

Meanwhile, the automation process can’t address the variations in language and style from one market to another. As such, fuzzy matching could return results that may not be appropriate for the context or the local market.

The use of fuzzy translation is often a balancing act between cost and accuracy. While a generic fuzzy match algorithm can save time and money, the accuracy could be lower. A solution developed for a specific language will yield more accurate results but at a much higher cost.

Regardless of your approach, fuzzy translation often isn’t 100% accurate. Translation proofreading is essential to ensure that the final text is of the highest quality. Proofreaders will ensure that the text reads naturally in the target language, has proper formatting, and uses accurate terminologies.

How To Conduct Translation Proofreading Cost-Effectively

Translation proofreading should be an essential component in your localization process to ensure that you have accurate and contextually relevant content for your website, app, game, or software.

Translation proofreading should be done before you export the localized strings. Work with professional proofreaders who are knowledgeable in the subject matter and proficient in the target language. Ideally, they’re native speakers who reside in the target locale to ensure that they can grasp the cultural nuances.

In reality, it’s not always easy to find a proofreader that matches all these criteria. In that case, you can assign content- and context-related proofreading to subject matter experts and let professional translators (e.g., through a translation services provider) identify language mistakes such as spelling and grammatical errors.

What Should Translation Proofreading Cover?

A translation proofreading process should identify content-related and language-related issues.

Proofreaders should ensure that the final content communicates the essence of the original text and is relevant to the target audience’s cultural background, demographics, and preferences. They should check that the facts, terminologies, and abbreviations are correct while the content is appropriate and consistent with the context.

Proofreaders should also look for language-related issues. These include spelling, grammar, sentence structure, capitalization, tenses, text length, punctuation, formatting, and visual consistency.

Don’t Skim on Translation Proofreading

While translation proofreading should be part of any localization process, it’s even more critical when you’re managing a large-scale localization project that involves multiple translators. Proofreading, along with a translation style guide, can help ensure consistency across all your content.

However, avoid having your translators double-duty as proofreaders because it’s hard to spot mistakes after hours working on the same text.

The good news is that you don’t have to hire in-house proofreaders for every language! Working with a translation management services company can give you access to professional proofreaders who are proficient in the subject matter and have expertise working with localization tools.

These proofreaders are often native speakers of the target language. They can ensure that the content is appropriate for the local culture and resonates with the target audience so you can reap all the benefits of localization.

Don't Skim on Translation Proofreading

To effectively manage your translation process and make sure nothing falls through the cracks, you need a robust localization management platform to orchestrate your workflow and make sure critical steps, such as proofreading, don’t get overlooked.

OneSky is an end-to-end localization management platform. We help you automate translation workflows and streamline localization processes with all the tools you need. You can communicate with your team all in one place, store content in a centralized location to avoid version control issues, and make sure the latest localization assets (e.g., translation style guide) are available to team members at all times.

Not to mention, we offer access to 1,000+ translators in 50+ languages to handle even the most demanding projects. You can hire a proofreader with the appropriate knowledge and skillsets to ensure that your translated content is of the highest quality.

Try OneSky for free and see how we can help you streamline even the most complex localization project.

Jac Wong

COO, OneSky

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