A Complete Guide To Test Your Marketing Translators
Testing potential Marketing translators before entering into collaboration can be regarded as a pivotal phase significantly influencing the quality of future translations. Undoubtedly, this step is no walk in the park and demands a substantial time investment.
To streamline the evaluation of your Marketing translators, we recommend implementing the following 7-step process. This framework draws upon the insights gained from our team’s extensive experience working with various categories of translation collaborators, encompassing in-house Marketing translators, freelance language experts, and Marketing translation agencies.
Step 1 – Establish a Review Panel
Commence by determining the team responsible for evaluating your potential Marketing translators. This panel’s primary duty is to meticulously assess the quality of the test translations, ensuring the selection of the most suitable collaborators for your translation ventures. Consequently, it should comprise members from various relevant departments to ensure optimal testing outcomes:
- A reviewer – possessing a deep understanding of linguistic nuances and your company’s specific requirements, such as preferred tones of voice and a “do-not-translate” list. Ideally, an experienced in-house translator should assume this role, as they would possess an intimate familiarity with your company’s content and common errors, aligning with your expectations. In the absence of an in-house translator, consider hiring a seasoned reviewer or a reputable translation agency to assist in this capacity.
- A subject matter expert – an internal team member who is not only a native speaker of the target language but also boasts industry expertise. This individual should be well-versed in the terminology frequently employed by your company and have a consistent interaction with or usage of such terms to scrutinize the accuracy of terminology within the test translation.
Step 2 – Develop a Translation Guideline
This step is discretionary. If your test volume is relatively small and the content lacks significant specialization, you may choose to bypass this phase. However, for more complex cases, it is advisable to formulate a comprehensive translation guideline consisting of three crucial documents to facilitate a clearer understanding of your expectations for your Marketing translators.
- Brand Voice: Define your brand’s tone, style, and personality.
- Key Terminology: List essential marketing terms, slogans, and jargon.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Provide insights into cultural nuances and potential pitfalls.
- Formatting: Explain how to handle formatting, fonts, and visual elements.
A clear guideline will serve as a reference point for your marketing translators throughout the testing process and beyond.
It’s important to note that during the testing phase, the translation guideline primarily serves the purpose of assessing translators’ abilities to adhere to your instructions and requirements, rather than evaluating their capacity to precisely replicate the eventual project’s execution.
Step 3 – Establish a Measurement
Develop a standardized measurement method to evaluate the quality of translations. Consider using a scoring system or rubric that covers key criteria, including:
- Accuracy: How well does the translation convey the intended message?
- Fluency: Is the text easy to read and understand in the target language?
- Cultural Appropriateness: Does the translation consider cultural differences and sensitivities?
- Adherence to Guidelines: To what extent does the translation align with your marketing translation guideline?
This measurement method will help you objectively assess the performance of your marketing translators.
Method Given the subjective nature of assessing translation quality, it is imperative to devise a measurement strategy or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with well-defined criteria before subjecting your Marketing translators to testing. These criteria will facilitate a precise, efficient, and equitable evaluation of candidate translations.
The specific metrics employed will naturally vary for each project, contingent upon its unique demands. In general, your measurement strategy should encompass three key metrics:
Linguistic Quality Assessment (LQA) Report Form – This form serves to evaluate the linguistic quality of a translation. It encompasses a comprehensive spectrum of error categories, including spelling, grammar, and layout. Each category is assessed based on error severity, categorized as Minor, Major, or Critical, with corresponding weighted values. Pass Rate – Establish a predefined threshold by summing the scores derived from the aforementioned QA metric. This numerical threshold distinguishes between passing and failing a test. If the cumulative scores fall below this threshold, the test is classified as a “fail,” and the respective partner can be removed from consideration.
Delivery Time – This metric holds significant importance in assessing the work ethic and attitude of your Marketing translators. It scrutinizes their ability to adhere to deadlines and their approach when faced with potential delays. Are they proactive in requesting deadline extensions when necessary, or do they simply deliver the translation days later without explanation or apologies? The timeliness of delivery offers valuable insights into the working styles and accountability of your potential Marketing translators.
Step 4 – Design a Test for Your Marketing translators
Many translation agencies and freelance translators are amenable to conducting a free test of fewer than 300 words. If you require a test with a larger volume, it is prudent to treat it as a small, compensated pilot project as a gesture of appreciation for their time and expertise.
Moreover, it is advisable for the test to incorporate content and terminology relevant to your actual projects. This ensures that your Marketing translators can adeptly handle the specific content type. Typically, the test format comprises three columns: (1) Source sentences (provided by your team); (2) Translations (completed by the translators); and (3) Translator’s notes.
Step 5 – Provide the Test to Your Marketing translators
Leading up to the test, preliminary communication with your Marketing translators may involve instant messaging platforms like Skype, WeChat, or WhatsApp for prompt responses. However, at this critical juncture, we recommend employing business emails to dispatch the prepared test. Utilizing this formal mode of communication conveys professionalism and mitigates the risk of overlooking crucial information amidst a deluge of instant messages. The translation guideline is meticulously crafted in Step 2. Comprehensive instructions for the translators. A clear deadline for completing the test.
Step 6 – Assess the Test Results from Your Marketing translators
In addition to gauging their proficiency in handling your company’s content, the test should serve as a means to evaluate your Marketing translators in terms of their work ethics, which significantly impact future collaboration.
- Quality Assessment – Implement the measurement strategy devised in Step 3. This evaluation phase should be overseen by seasoned linguists with prior experience in translating your company’s documents and/or a profound understanding of your brand’s voice, enabling them to offer more insightful evaluations of the translations.
- Attitude Evaluation – Examine aspects of communication, such as clarity in their style, responsiveness to your requests, and their approach when facing potential delays. Do they proactively communicate about missed deadlines, and are they receptive to enhancing their translation quality based on your feedback? Reflecting on these considerations will help determine whether they are indeed desirable Marketing translators for your ongoing collaboration.
Step 7 – Inform Test Results to Your Candidates
A common misstep often encountered in this phase is solely informing the successful candidates while overlooking those who did not pass the test. Regardless of the outcome, it is imperative that you provide feedback to all your translation candidates, whether they have been selected for the position or not, along with your observations regarding the test errors or reasons for their non-selection. Offering feedback proves beneficial for both the translators and your organization.
From the translator’s perspective, this feedback serves as an opportunity for them to enhance their translation and communication skills, which will be valuable in future interactions with other clients. On your end, translators may occasionally disagree with your feedback and respond with their own insights on the marked errors. Such dialogue allows both parties to address and discuss the issues, striving for mutual understanding and resolution. This process can offer valuable insights into language nuances and contribute to the overall improvement of translation quality.
Through the comprehensive step process outlined above, we trust that you will identify the ideal Marketing translators for your forthcoming projects.
At GTE Localize – a professional translation agency, we proudly provide professional marketing translation and localization services encompassing over 100 languages worldwide, all at competitive rates and with swift turnaround times.
Should you want to obtain a free quote or get a free 300-word test for your translation projects, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team via the following contact link.