We’ve all heard the tune…the literal one (”you say potatoe, I say potato”) and the metaphorical one (“your translator says implement, my distributor says execute”). And, even though good old Fred Astaire saves the divide with his charm and excellent dance moves, not all project managers have the same skills in their arsenal; not to mention the amount of employee handbook rules I would break if I went to our client’s office to dance with our point of contact in order to solve a linguistic dispute.
So, should we just call the whole thing off like the song says? Well, there certainly seems to be a number of LSPs who don't really like the client-review process; but we believe that there is a case to be made for (good) client review and that it can be beneficial for everyone involved.
Good client review is nothing but an extension of the already existing good communication between client and LSP. It is surprising to find so many bad experiences with the review process precisely now that the localization industry as a whole is making an effort to make clients and the general public more aware of localization and more familiar with its meaning and its role in today’s globalized society. As an industry, we are trying to make clients more localization-aware and translation-savvy, but many still consider the review process a nuisance. This is quite a contradiction, since client review has the potential to become one of the many benefits of that awareness we helped create.
Why? Because no matter how well selected and trained our translators are, it is often not possible to offer the same level of situational knowledge the client has. It is simply a matter of experience and day to day contact with the project our clients are now trustingly putting in our hands.
The client’s feedback after the translation has been completed is crucial. The client's reviewers are closest to the company’s core values, the products they handle and the key messages they want us to make global. In the end, our success in the eyes of our client is inevitably tied to the success of the product we helped to make global; this is why any step that can potentially improve the end result will always be beneficial for both parties.
Fred Astaire hits the target when he sings: “If we call the whole thing off, you and I will have to part; and if we have to part, that might break my heart”. Our clients and partners becoming more aware of the localization process is a good sign and a wonderful opportunity to further our reach as an industry, so let’s seize the opportunity and show everyone what good integration and communication can do!
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Let´s Call the Whole thing off