In addition, the translated documents (including graphics, dates, addresses, currencies, phone number, space requirements, etc.) can be adopted for a specific market or group. This process is called localization. While translation and localization overlap, they are not identical.
The next step of the professional translation service is editing. Once the translation is completed, the translation company/translator performs editing. Editing (also called revision) is comparison of the target text (translation) and source text (original) in order to check the translation for accuracy and style. The best practice is to send the text for proofreading and editing to a linguist who is a native speaker of the target language.
In addition, the translation can be sent to the client’s reviewer (in-house linguist, subject matter expert, partner/end-user in the target market) for bilingual and/or monolingual revision to verify the translation against predetermined translation parameters and appropriateness for the intended audience. After that, the translation company/translator analyzes and incorporates changes suggested by the client’s reviewer.
Editing, performed either by in-house staff or by a freelance translator accepting freelance editing assignments, is one of the forms of quality control. Upon the client’s request, other quality control steps can be performed, including terminology check, back translation, and linguistic validation.
Terminology check is performed to check if a translator has correctly and consistently used the company specific terminology and industry specific terms.
Back translation is a translation back into the source language. At first, a translator performs a forward translation (translation from the source language into the target language). Then, another translator, who does not have access to the source text, translates the forward translation back into the target language. The purpose of the back translation is to demonstrate that the forward translation has the same meaning as the source text. It enables to identify any mistranslations and inaccuracies in the forward translation.
Linguistic validation is a complex process of forming translations that convey the same meaning for diverse groups of patients within the framework of multinational clinical trials. Linguistic validation includes forward translation, editing, back translation, reconciliation of discrepancies, medical review, cognitive interviewing (testing with a sample group of patients), and final verification of the translations.
Editing is often confused with proofreading. Although both are steps of the quality control process, editing and proofreading are actually different tasks which supplement each other.
More on editing: Editing tips
The final basic step of the professional translation service is proofreading. Since text length in the target language may differ considerably from the source text length, proofreading (final check) is performed to avoid, for example, having only half of the text visible on a page, overwritten by other text or hidden under graphic elements.
To complete the picture of the professional translation service, one should mention such specific steps as transcreation (creative conversion of advertising, media and literature materials into other languages), translation of film subtitles, compilation and functional testing of software and websites, notarization of translations, copy editing, and transcription services.
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