Did you know. . . Client Review – Who, What, Why

When using the term “client review,” (CR) most Language Service Providers (LSPs) are referring to a native speaker that works directly for the client. The client reviewer can also be a distributor or independent salesperson that is a native speaker.

A client review should only be a review of the translation. Corrections should be limited to industry-specific terminology and translator errors (yes, I know, there shouldn’t be any, but we are all human). The client review is not a license to change the entire translation because of style issues. Nor is it a license to modify the text so that it no longer accurately reflects the source document. To ensure that the reviewed file still mirrors the source, allow time after the review for the translator or editor to go over the client’s changes and accept or give recommendations for changes to the reviewer’s updates.

One example of how a reviewer can tweak the translation for their own purposes: A client reviewer/distributor once made significant changes to a document. Many were company-specific terminology that no one outside that company would really know. However, one of those changes was to replace a specific brand of oil with a different brand all together. Luckily, this review went back to the translator for more than just a spell check, so this was caught. When the client checked with the reviewer, they indicated that they didn’t like the other brand and didn’t buy it or stock it for that reason. That change wasn’t incorporated.

Don’t be alarmed if you see huge amounts of changes to the translation during a client review. If that happens, have the LSP get a separate, independent translator to check the client reviewer’s changes to find out if they are stylistic or translation errors. Almost 99% of the time, the bulk of the changes are either industry- or company-specific terminology, or they are changes in style (e.g., using first person instead of third person, using the infinitive form of the verb, etc.).

One last tip: the amount of changes made during client review drops dramatically if the reviewer and the translator or editor are in touch prior to and during the review process. They should be able to freely converse with each other in their native language for questions during both translation and review.

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