RE: Document Translation Quality

Subject: RE: Document Translation Quality
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Richard Melanson" <rmelanson -at- spirecorp -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 10:05:30 -0700

Richard Melanson wrote:

<snip> How do we
> determine the actually quality of the translations we are getting. We
> not have access to persons who first language is what we are
> to. Thank you for any advice you guys can give me.

I can't imagine there's any adequate substitute for review by a native
speaker. If you're translating to a language, it must be because you
plan to sell (or are already selling) to speakers of that language. So,
as Sally suggested, you must have or be developing sales offices, or
channel partners, or some kind of presence. Maybe you already have a
customer or two who can be recruited to provide feedback on the

If none of those are possibilities, you might be able to locate native
speakers for at least some languages at a nearby college or university.
With any luck, you might even find someone in a discipline that makes
them familiar with some of your technical terminology.

A few days' work reviewing translations every now and then, at a nice
hourly rate, is something a college student or faculty member might jump
at. Just check references carefully and think about how you can validate
that they're doing good reviews -- maybe have them translate selected
paragraphs back to English.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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