We follow 8 fundamental steps to successfully carry out translations (and localizations) up to the final version in ascending order:

1. Translation Quote: Before we initiate any work, we give our clients a quote and agree on the budget. Some companies and individuals do not pursue quotes, especially if they are existing clients or have minimal projects. Once they approve the quote, they send over their documents to be translated.

2. Document Preparation: After receiving the documents from the client, we prepare them into translatable content. Some documents may be in formats such as PDF, PNG, and JPG, which usually need to be converted to software-compatible versions. Other files such as Excel and Word may need some adjustments such as layout so that they reflect a perfect final version.

3. Initial Translation: This is the very first step of translation. The translator performs the conversion of content into the target language until the entire document is translated. We encourage our translators to review their work before they pass it on to the next step, however, this does not replace other review steps.

4. Translation Review: Once the initial translation step is complete, the reviewer goes over the content to make sure that it is accurately translated. One reason why a “team” is essential in translation, there are several steps that a project goes through before you can confirm whether it meets the basic quality standards.

5. Revision: Revision is a bit more thorough than the review. ISO 17100 – the leading international quality standards – defines revision as a “bilingual examination of target language content against source language content for its suitability for the agreed purpose”. Sometimes “revision” and “bilingual editing” are used interchangeably.

6. Proofreading: This is the pre-final stage of the translation process. After performing preliminary steps, the translation could still contain some errors. The proofreader’s role is to read between the lines throughout the document and fix typographical, grammatical, spelling, and stylistic errors that might have been overlooked by the previous steps. While revision compares the translation against the source language, proofreading simply cares about the flow of the translation and any flaws thereof.

7. Quality Assurance (QA): Translation Quality Assurance is the last and most important step in the translation and localization process. This stage is intended to address all discrepancies that are flagged by translation software (if you are using a CAT tool). There are two types of QA according to MemoQ: 1) Automatic QA, which is computer-based, and 2) Linguistic QA, which is a customized approach for enhanced results.

8. Delivery to Client: Once the project has gone through all the above steps, it is now time to deliver the final version to the client. Some clients do not order all of the above due to different reasons. However, the role of a Language Service Provider is to deliver the best product possible regardless.

Sim Ngezahayo