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Best Practices for Reviewing Translations

Reviewing the translation of multilingual content is an essential step in the translation process. But sometimes clients don’t know what role they play in that phase of a project. We often see scenarios where clients receive their translations from their language partner and then send them off for review by colleagues or friends who speak the language to determine translation accuracy. However, reviewing translations requires more than just any native speaker reading through the content.

We recommend that clients appoint one dedicated reviewer for their translations to ensure the best results. Below are reasons why we recommend that best practice for reviewing translations.

Industry Expertise

Native speakers are not always experts in your industry. If you are a native English speaker and your friend asks you to review an engineering industry article translated article from Spanish into English, would you be able to determine the quality of the translation if you weren’t an engineer? We suggest clients use someone from their company, who not only speaks the language, but also is familiar with the product, service and professional terminologies to review the translation so they can provide the most valuable and accurate feedback.

Reviewer Consistency

Sometimes clients have two or more colleagues who speak the target language who they could use for reviewing translations. They assume, “the more the merrier.” However, that phrase doesn’t always apply to translations.

Translating is both an art and a science and some aspects of language are subjective. When the same content is read and reviewed by multiple people, there may be multiple opinions on what the style of the text should be. Therefore, having the translation reviewed by one reviewer who is well versed in your industry and the style of your brand’s messaging, is key to ensuring the accuracy and consistency of your content.


For some clients, their expectation is to receive the translation at the agreed time frame without any involvement after sending the source files. However, this is not always possible. We encourage clients to get involved in the review processes to achieve the most engaging and accurate translated content. Collaboration between the client and their translation partner guarantees quality and consistency in the content for ongoing and future projects.

Efficiently Reviewing Translations

It is important to discuss how the client can efficiently review translated files. We see clients revise the files (Word documents for example) directly, without notifying their translation teams. This can fix the current translation, but it will affect the accuracy of future translations.

Translation companies create a Translation Memory (TM) for their clients. The TM is a database of previously translated segments (both the source and target language). Translators use the TM during translation to leverage previously translated content and ensure consistency. If a client modifies a translation but doesn’t share that change with the translators, then the TM will not be accurate for the next project.

For document translation projects, a best practice is to use the track changes feature in a Word file or annotations in a PDF file so the translator can see the changes and update the TM accordingly.


In conclusion, reviewing translations should always be a collaboration between the client and their language partner. It is important to discuss this process before the translation project begins so everyone is on the same page and the client’s reviewer can be selected and be a part of the project from the beginning. Working as a team will produce the most engaging, accurate and effective content, that meets a client’s expectations.