Navigating efficiency: End internal review or keep it?

Optimize your translation workflow with or without internal review. Explore pros and cons, tips for efficient reviews, and how Smartling's solutions can streamline your process.January 12th, 2024


When setting up or optimizing your translation workflow, there are many things to consider. One thing you’ll have to decide is whether you want to include a step in your workflow for internal translation review. Let’s dive into how you can optimize your process so that you can decide the best option for you and how you might be able to do a bit of both.

What is an internal review?

Internal translation review acts as an authenticity check for your brand’s translated content. When a company decides to use internal review in their workflow, it often means that a dedicated person is reviewing all, or some, translated content for messaging and brand compliance.

The inefficiency of internal review lies in the fact that it is typically done by someone who works within the company. To complete the review, they must pause on their typical workload which takes up time and resources.

As a result, when a piece of content is translated and then returned to the cycle of internal translation review, you can lose the momentum of sharing timely content. If the reviewer isn’t hyper-focused on a quick turnaround time, the content can sit in a queue for months, becoming dated and eventually unusable. That’s a waste of resources and money.

The pros and cons of internal review

If you are considering adding internal translation review to your process, first evaluate what you are translating and weigh the pros and cons.

Pros of internal reviews

  • Sharing brand preferences and nuances: Early on in a relationship, internal review can be a good way to ensure translators understand your brand preferences. This is an opportunity to share any stylistic nuances up front so that there is alignment between you and your translators going forward.

Cons of internal review

  • Slow time to market: If you have urgent content to translate and get out the door, you must know this review can be time intensive. If translated materials are high on the priority list, this may not be right for you at this time.
  • Small changes: Internal review changes are often minimal. We have seen content backed up for weeks and months and the only outcome is a comma change.
  • Resource constraints: If you are trying to stay within a certain budget, you will have to add in expenses to make room for internal review to become part of your workflow.

Getting internal review right

If you just started translating content that may be a good reason to use internal review. The added step can be very useful in the early days so you can share preferences and ensure stylistic alignment with your translation team.

If you’re still unsure whether to implement internal translation reviews, you can still begin by applying the following tactics into your workflow right now:

Implement context from the start

Context provides layers of added depth to your translations and can decrease the back and forth of emails. With a clear understanding of how content will be presented, the intentions behind it, and the overall goal of the project, translators can work towards a more accurate and authentic translation. There are two types of context to consider: visual and linguistic.

Visual context can make your translation team feel they are in the same room with one another and gives translators an opportunity to see the finished product through the eyes of their eventual audience, which helps to tighten the efficiency and outcome of your projects.

Linguistic assets hold the power to keep your workflow on brand. Linguistic assets like style guides and glossaries include rules about your content formatting preferences, writing tone, and overall style.

Integrate your TMS with your tech stack

Translation management systems, like Smartling, can make it easy to keep your content flowing through the translation process seamlessly. Smartling produces out-of-the-box integrations that link directly to content management systems or other software in your tech stack to push and pull content in for translation as needed. As soon as content is moved into the Smartling platform, it's assigned as a job to the appropriate resource.

Even better, project managers gain a bird's-eye view of every project from the second it's implemented, to the minute it's published. Identify and avoid bottlenecks and keep content flowing. Everyone will have insight to how much progress the translation process has made which can cut down on emails, meetings, and calls.

Should you end your internal review or keep it?

In the end, it depends on your needs. You may decide to start with the inclusion of an internal translation review but then slowly phase it out. You may have been working with a translation vendor you’ve come to trust and can go without.

If you decide that you can’t go without internal review, seek out a translation management solution that includes features that help, like review mode. Smartling’s Review Mode tool gives reviewers the opportunity to see everything in front of them by way of language and visuals to decide if the translation works as a whole piece. This accelerates the review process and reduces the risk of delay and time sucks.

Still not sure if your internal review step is really necessary? Not quite sure if you want to roll internal review into your flow? Get in touch and we’d love to talk through how we can help support either workflow in Smartling.