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Quarter I, 2006

In This Issue...
Hélène's Corner - News and Views
Professionals Speak at the University of Wisconsin
In-Country Reviews: Advantages and Challenges
Iverson Proofing Manual: Quality Counts
New Faces at Iverson

The following column, Hélène's Corner - News and Views, is a regular column that appears in each issue of the Iverson quarterly newsletter.

Hélène's Corner - News and Views

What Your Business Means to Us
This year marks an important milestone for Iverson Language Associates, Inc. - the company is celebrating 20 years in business. This is a great time to pause and reflect on why we do what we do. Our company has been growing steadily with the times and with the rising amount of work. We have completed thousands of translation projects of various degrees of complexity, which has both challenged us and fostered growth in our organization.

We value your business for a variety of reasons. Chief among these is the knowledge you share with us about different industries, processes, and techniques. You explain to us how content is managed and how documents are created and built. You tell us about the after-life of the projects we deliver. We use this information to continuously refine internal processes and to develop new methods in our company.

Second, you consistently challenge us to achieve higher goals, increased consistency, faster turnaround times and more cost-effective methods. You provide the opportunity to come up with creative solutions to make your goals come true. 

Last but not least, you give us opportunities to gain professional knowledge, which translates into fulfilling jobs and careers, and, most importantly instills a sense of accomplishment and pride.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the challenges and for the opportunities. We value your business for all that it means to us. We look forward to the next 20 years!

Submitted by: Hélène Pielmeier, Director of Client Services

Professionals Speak at University of Wisconsin

As part of an ongoing commitment to educate and mentor students interested in translation, Iverson held a special seminar at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM), to offer insight into the inner workings of a translation agency. The event took place on February 23rd and drew over 40 students.

Five Iverson staff members presented on topics ranging from the state of the translation market and career options in the industry, to the lifecycle of a translation project. Iverson concluded the session with some networking time to allow students to get feedback on their career plans. "Learning about the operations of a company of Iverson's caliber and professionalism right here in Milwaukee was a pleasant revelation", was the comment made by Michael Rogers, 2006 Masters candidate in the translation program.

"UWM's translation program is privileged to have such a wonderful resource so close by - such an advantage for our students and our program!" said Assistant Professor Lorena Terando who is in charge of the translation program. Iverson has been involved with UWM since the beginning of the translation program in 1998 from teaching master-level classes, to speaking in various classes and offering mentoring to students. Over the years, Iverson has hired multiple interns and graduates from UWM?s translation program.


In-Country Reviews: The Full Story

If you are considering having your translations reviewed for accuracy by an affiliate located in-country where your products are marketed and sold, read on. In-country reviews have both advantages and challenges. Here are some pros and cons to consider along with some tips to ensure a smooth process.

An in-country review can provide security. It gives the assurance of having internal company personnel who speak the target language provide a second opinion. Although an in-country review is an optional step, it can lend an added level of confidence in the translation.

An in-country review can improve quality. The additional quality check of someone who is familiar with company and industry terminology helps to ensure that the terminology conforms to company standards.

An in-country review can improve buy-in. Involvement in the documentation development process enhances the reviewer's familiarity with the product. This can lead to greater support and promotion of your product with, for example, distributors, agents or personnel located at an overseas subsidiary.

Things to Consider
An in-country review can add to the project timeline. Typically, the translation review is added to an in-country reviewer's already long list of responsibilities, often falling low on their priority list. Delays in receiving the reviewed files back are common.

An in-country review can add cost. Reviewers often prefer to review formatted files, but changes after formatting add cost. Although it is relatively easy to make changes in unformatted files, if the translated text has already been placed in the formatted layout files, a desktop publishing specialist has to implement the changes. As in any other production process, the further along in the process a change is identified, the more difficult and costly it is to implement.

An in-country review can introduce errors. Reviewers may not understand their role and spend unnecessary time and effort editing the document. Unlike translators, reviewers are usually not professional writers. They may introduce grammatical errors and interrupt the consistency and coherence of the text. Sometimes linguistic nuances can be overlooked resulting in shifts to the meaning of the text.

An in-country review adds complexity. Coordinating an in-country review requires additional effort, and sometimes time in the form of mediation between the translation team and designated reviewer. In addition, time for coordination of the review can be factored according to the number of languages and reviewers that need to be managed.

To maximize the advantages and minimize the challenges, here are some guidelines for a successful review process.

  • Make sure to have the right reviewers. Merely being bilingual is not enough. Seek reviewers who have in-depth knowledge of both the company and the industry. Iverson can help with qualifying specialized reviewers.
  • Determine the amount of flexibility in the deadline for an in-country review. Decide how often to follow up and at what point to conclude that the translation is approved by default if the review is not returned.
  • Determine at the beginning of the project when the review will take place, before or after formatting.
  • Provide strict guidelines regarding expectations. For example, tell the reviewer to focus on specific areas such as terminology and technical accuracy. Explain to them why they will receive unformatted files, if that is the case. Specify that edits should be made electronically, for example, using track changes in Word or comments in a PDF, and not a handwritten markup via fax. Iverson can help prepare the instructions.
  • Determine who will coordinate the review. Iverson can coordinate the reviews, but reviewers may see the importance and urgency more if they receive direction from the home office.

An alternative approach to consider is to create a glossary of company-specific terms prior to the onset of the translation process, and have the listing translated and reviewed in-country. This translated list can be used to create a terminology database which can be applied to the documents before they are sent out for translation. If the in-country review process does not seem like the right fit, a glossary is a proactive approach to gaining in-country feedback, while controlling project timelines and costs.

Submitted by: Christine Bucher, Project Manager


Iverson Proofing Manual: Quality Counts 

To ensure our translations conform to localized linguistic standards, Iverson uses a comprehensive Proofing Manual. Developed internally, the manual has been compiled through years of extensive research and input of our most trusted translators and is regularly updated as norms change. The Proofing Manual is Iverson's primary resource for providing our Language and Desktop Publishing Reviewers with precise information about the minute details of each language.

For example, in German, quotation marks appear similar to those in English, except that the opening quotation mark appears at the baseline of the first character of the word. In Traditional Chinese (Cantonese) there are two different kinds of commas, one for lists and one for clauses. These are examples of the extensively researched information we include in the Proofing Manual to assure that the rules of each language have been adhered to throughout the translation process.

With accurate and up-to-date reference information regarding spacing and punctuation, norms for time and date, numbers and currency, as well as information about the issues unique to each language, the Iverson Proofing Manual has proven to be a reviewer's most vital reference.

Submitted by: Leah Leone, Traffic Coordinator

New Faces at Iverson

Please welcome Frank Manzullo, Business Development Manager, and Leah Wanta, Assistant Project Manager to Iverson Language Associates, Inc. Click on their names to read their biographical information.

© 2006 Iverson Language Associates, Inc.


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