A staff member at a client company is asked to review a delivered translation. The staff member has some language skills, although is not a professional linguist.
What will happen? Guaranteed … they’ll make changes to the delivered translation. There are at least a couple factors at work:
- Making preferential (not essential) edits to a translation is a tangible indication they’ve performed their review assignment. How would it seem if they only read over the text and declared “everything’s great.”
- When the staff member is a less senior member of the client company they might consider the review assignment as an opportunity to display their special knowledge of language. Special knowledge is a basis for gaining influence and recognition within their organization. The more they change an already acceptable translation, the more they’ve demonstrated their expert knowledge. Or so the thinking goes.
Is the translation reviewer within the client company a superior linguist to professional translators? Hardly ever. Is a translation vendor wise to point this out? Probably not.
The risk to the client company is that they end up with a lower quality translation than what was originally professionally prepared and delivered. Our suggestion as guidance for client internal reviewers?
Please review this translation and make an indication for anything that you consider to be an actual error, otherwise don’t make changes.