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E.g., 04/07/2020

How query management can make or break a translation project


18 March 2015

By Elena Iribarren, CPSL - Language Solutions

There are many moving parts in any translation initiative, from dedicated linguists to assisting software. But one of the most valuable parts of an effective translation program is the ability to manage queries, documents, and translation materials.  In any translation project, translators and their clients need to be able to effectively communicate about specific language requirements, product understanding and local messaging in order to produce high quality translations. Translators need to have a way to ask questions about the content they are translating so that they can localize it successfully. The way that a company manages queries from translators and how they respond can make or break a translation project. Effective query management is crucial to the success of a localization project because it can help ensure high quality translations, speed time-to-market, and decrease costs.

Companies often translate large volumes of technical, product, and marketing content. That content can be complex, technically specific, and have important company messaging. Since the translator does not create the original source content, he or she often needs clarification about the meaning of the words, concepts, or ideas. Since quality is crucial in localization, it is important that they have a dialogue about the content to ensure that the translation is correct and understood in the local market. Translators and companies must agree on specific terminology that captures the correct meaning for every language. Traditionally, this has been managed with email or spreadsheets between the company requesting the translation and the translator. The translator might email a question about a product function, for example, and the subject matter expert would respond with an answer. However, that way of sharing information and answering queries is problematic. When information is shared in this way, it can be hard to find or even lost. It is also difficult to reuse that information from project to project and to effectively transfer that information across larger teams. That means that there is more back and forth between the company and the translator, which takes time and increases costs. Also, it could potentially decrease the quality of the translation if the translator does not completely understand the meaning of the content.

Companies that succeed in managing queries effectively have a portal or system in place that they can use to manage communications between translators and linguistic coordinators. Ideally, the system is accessible by team members and is located in the cloud so that information is easily shared and updated. A good query management system allows translators to pose questions about the content they are translating and provides easy access for companies to answer. When both teams can track and share information, the translators can manage queries and the quality of the translations more effectively.

Elena Iribarren is a Senior Project Manager at CPSL - Language Solutions.  

Note: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of GALA.