Getting the Most Out of Your In-country Review: Four Best Practices

By United Language Group

When a Language Solutions Partner (LSP)  translates a document for a client, they adhere to quality assurance standards by assembling a professional team that includes linguists, subject matter experts, editors, localization specialists, and more.

LSPs are responsible for ensuring the language in the translated document is grammatically correct, sensitive to cultural nuances, and as close as possible to the intended meaning of the original document. However, even with this diversified team and multi-phase process, there is still one more step before the client offers its seal of approval: the in-country review.

An In-country Review (ICR) is conducted by the client, who reviews the translation to ensure it matches the company’s standards, style, and branding. In-country reviews are particularly helpful for marketing and sales copy, which draw a lot from the company’s preferred rhetoric and “voice,” although ICR is not limited to these documents.

Since an in-country review adds to the completion time for a document, having an established protocol in place can expedite the process of finalizing the translation. Here are some of the best practices to keep in mind when using ICR.

1.The in-country Reviewer Should be a Native Speaker

The phrase “in-country” reviewer can be a bit misleading because the reviewer does not necessarily have to be in the same country as the target audience. It is more important that the reviewer has the necessary linguistic expertise and familiarity with the company (and therefore may also be called an “in-house” reviewer). For example, a native Spanish speaker at a company’s branch in Colombia could review Spanish-language content intended for an audience in Peru. In the same way that the linguists used by the LSP should be fluent in both the original language and the target language, the in-country reviewer should be a native speaker of the target language.

2. The Reviewer Should Know at the Outset What Kind of Feedback They Need to Provide

An in-country review is not another full translation of the document or a proofread – that’s what the LSP’s translators and editors are for. Because in-country reviewers usually hold full-time roles providing other services to the company (IT, marketing, legal, etc.), setting clear expectations at the beginning can lighten their workload for the translation project and drastically reduce the timeline. So, what type of feedback should reviewers provide? That brings us to #3.

3. The Reviewer Should Pay Close Attention to Company Jargon, Branding Guidelines, and Other Knowledge About the Company or the Target Audience That is Not Readily Available to the Translator

The in-country reviewer should be a company employee, colleague, or partner who is familiar with the company’s history, brand, voice, and any previous translations. For example, there may be a precedent for the way certain products or services were translated, or the company may have undergone a recent rebranding effort that will affect any future translations.  With this information in mind, in-country reviewers should be making tweaks to the translated document where appropriate, not rewriting the whole thing. 

4. The Reviewer Should be Experienced in the Subject Matter

Suppose the document that needs to be reviewed is a manual for troubleshooting a technological device. Due to the technical nature of the document, it is likely not enough that the reviewer is just a native speaker. The in-country reviewer should also have experience in the subject matter, so they can ensure their suggested edits are factually accurate and that the new document is in line with the rhetoric used in their other materials on the same topic.

Continuity + Client Satisfaction

Although an LSP will do most of the leg work in the translation process, an ICR will ensure continuity with other business documents and increase the likelihood of client—and ultimately, user—satisfaction.

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