FAUST RULE 5: You should use In Country Review!

October 22nd, 2020 by Christian Faust - Posted in English

An ICR (In Country Review) is a review of the translation by a native speaker who lives in the region of the target group. In most cases, this is the sales or marketing manager of the company’s foreign branch, who has a perfect knowledge of the product, services and approach in the target market.

The ICR feedback to the translator improves collaboration, significantly increases quality and avoids time-consuming rework.

Procedure

The process usually starts as follows: taking the case of an English parent company:

  • The marketing department commissions the translation agency to translate a text intended for a distribution country.
  • The technical translator performs her task by drawing on her expertise, the material available on the Internet (websites) and resources (translation memory, glossary, client reference material).
  • The proofreader checks the translation before delivery, again based on the available information material.
  • The marketing department sends the translation to the person responsible for review in the foreign branch.

Feedback

At this point, experience shows that the following feedback is usually given:

  1. none at all
  2. “Sounds like a translation!”
  3. “Full of mistakes. Useless.”
  4. “Perfect, thank you!”

Analysis

The missing feedback under 1. seems more bearable in the first moment than the statements under 2. and 3. Nobody likes negative feedback. However, since there is no way of assessing the service provided on the translator’s side, assumptions have to be made: “I wonder if everything was OK.” I hope so …

Of course, translators are happy to hear praise, or even more so, a dignified acknowledgement of their work with suggestions for improvement, for example in the case of internal company designations or preferences that they may not initially be aware of. Usually we hear statements like Point 4 from customers who use the ICR. So far, so good.

Unsuitable, incorrect translation

Points 2 and 3, which we will now talk about, are on the other hand the stumbling blocks leading to 4. You can leave them as they are and stumble over them again and again, or you can get rid of them once and for all and have a good life in the future.

Despite many years of internationalisation, many companies regularly succumb to a misjudgment of how different cultures and sensitivities are and what effect this has on communication in the target market.

Translations by proven specialist translators are rarely unusable or incorrect. In contrast, they often correspond exactly to the source text that the company has submitted. Adjustments to the culture, customs and preferences of the target groups in the target country are not taken into account (because they are not desired). One often hears statements such as: “No, we decide here centrally in England.”

The foreign branch will rarely be satisfied with this, because it is

  • a specific terminology
  • a specific customer approach
  • special marketing and communication material

is used and (hopefully) maintained. Knowledge that is beyond the translator’s control as long as no collaboration exists.

What a palaver!

Now we all still know the game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ and the effects of a communication that runs over many places: namely that the original statement becomes incomprehensible. Every feedback from the foreign branch runs through several offices. Queries go the same way back and forth. And despite all the effort: not much happens. Communication is a mess…

In addition, the correction effort for the person responsible in the target country, who is in charge of the review and revision, is perceived as excessive, because this unloved work has to be carried out in addition to the usual workload. (“I still have to correct these lousy translations!”). What ultimately makes things very difficult is that the test readers often do not speak English well, i.e. they do not understand exactly what is written in the English source text.

This leads to scribbles or annotations in PDF files, which are then sent back to the English marketing department, which in turn does not understand anything, but is startled by the amount of correction. The crazy thing at this point is that we are not even one step further!

Short process!

We can nevertheless state that the test reader (e.g. marketing manager) in the foreign branch is considered an expert for his market. The test reader’s know-how is just as important for the successful implementation of the translation project as the translators’s expertise.

But the process is messed up because the two do not come together in a simple way.
How can you imagine an optimal solution?

  • The translator and the reviser work as before.
  • Technical terminology is stored in the customer-specific glossary.
  • The proofreader is integrated into the translation environment and can easily check, confirm, comment, ask and answer questions about translations in his browser.

Advantages:

  • Direct involvement of the target market through ICR
  • No e-mail traffic
  • The test reader can work anytime and anywhere
  • Questions are clarified directly and finally between the persons involved
  • Difficulties of understanding are eliminated on both sides
  • The translation is perfect upon delivery!
  • Errors / deviations will not occur again!

No reworking, no errors – no additional costs

Fortunately, this process is already a reality today. No more e-mails, no more countless PDFs, no more “Chinese Whispers” or other games: Goodbye to the past!

ICR is now quick and easy and, without any effort, leads to a previously unheard of quality in translations for international and global markets.

🔴  Test reading in the target country, which used to be difficult and time-consuming, is now integrated into the translation process in real time. So: reach your goal without additional costs and effort!

Faust rule 5 “You should use ICR” must be understood as a request to use technological possibilities to optimize the translation process for the intended purpose and to exclude any reworking. 

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