Archive for the ‘Translation workflow’ Category

The death of the reviewer?

10/07/2009

Do translation agencies still need reviewers in the age of high-tech spell-checkers, term validation software, terminology management tools, translator’s workbench, on-line crowd-sourcing, translation forums, etc…etc? Or can we expect translators to deliver high-quality translations without the necessity of further improvements by a reviewer?

Typewriter

In an interview with Renato Beninatto, known for his statement “Quality doesn’t matter“, we can read the following:

<<What I propose is that you eliminate the editor. You have a Project Manager whose function changes from manager to “facilitator”. And you create a “community” (a discussion list, a portal, it can take any shape that you want), where you have the translators, a consultant, an expert on the topic whose job is to answer questions about the topic in the corresponding language.>>

It is an interesting thought to shift the task of the reviewer to the project manager, to experts and to other freelance translators. The quality of the translations for sure wouldn’t become less using this new workflow. In my opinion, it would even improve since an expert has a thorougher knowledge about the terminology and the conceptual structure of a given subject field than a reviewer (who has only a superficial knowledge of most of the domains). On the other hand, if you are monitored by a pool of translators in a form of a translation forum as suggested above, the chances of solving all the linguistic problems of the translation are bigger than when only one person, the reviewer reads through and corrects your text. So in a way, a pool of experts and fellow translators combined with a project manager who is able to manage the transfer of information among all the participators well, these together would form a perfect translation team.

I think for large projects, at large companies, the scenario mentioned above is a possibility, for smaller agencies with much less profit, this working method would be a bit harder (but not impossible) to implement. With the open source software available nowadays, it’s a piece of cake to set up a forum, exploit on-line term bases and knowledge banks and make use of translation software and TMS.

So I’m quite positive about this new way of structuring the translation process with new tasks and roles. And of course, it’s also worth reading that interview with Renato Beninatto. You can find it on the blog called ‘Lapsus Translinguae’, by the way a very interesting blog.

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