Fixing the bad translations

Posted On: 8/28/2019

The increasing number of independent requests for fixing bad translations most likely indicates that many clients underestimate the role of project management 

Our administrative reports indicate that we have been receiving a lot of requests to proofread bad translations of the third parties, mostly those done by solo translators. The primary reason seems to be that clients sometimes hire solo translators from open source databases, in search of saving money or perhaps out of simple curiosity.


Understandably, many companies handling translation jobs utilize internal staff who are generally good in terminology, but lacking in writing skills.


Unfortunately, many clients think of translation as "just translating", but tend to neglect the importance of terminology management and quality assurance.


New platforms may seem like they can simplify the process, but this oversimplification can be misleading.

Having been in the localization industry since 2002, my understanding has evolved to welcoming the fact that management by a project manager basically eliminates both standard and unusual problems. By all objective standards, the project manager plays a critical role to avoid problems.


Vendor management is a critical part of project management, supervised by a project manager. For the client, it is frequently not merely choosing a vendor. A wide range of parameters must be considered before a selection is made. These include target language, field of expertise, technical context, creative writing skills, localization experience, feasibility of rates and CAT tools, daily/weekly capacity, availability, positive feedback from previous translations and many unwritten characteristics like raising meaningful questions, providing on-time delivery and establishing good communication.


As a team member of a midsize translation agency, every day I see challenging projects, unusual problems and creative problem-solving by our project teams. Please do not overestimate the power of automation. 

So, project management is of utmost importance and hire the professional service provider that will increase the value of your projects.

Author: Volkan Güvenç 
General Coordinator 
Alafranga Language Solutions