Translation revisions – just five more words

five more words

In our last blog post we looked at the revision process for translations and how you can streamline it to keep your projects efficient.

In this post we look at the reasons why seemingly quick revisions take our translators longer than you might think to complete.

Just five more words

Whether it’s just a case of translating a few more words, a sentence, or an extra question or answer options for a market research survey, revisions are commonplace in the world of translation.

The ‘add-ons’ may be as little as five more words but this doesn’t mean it will be a quick job for our translators. They will still have to take their time to make sure the additional words don’t contradict what they’ve already translated or use a different style or wording. This is to maintain the quality of the translation.

Steps for translation revisions

For freelance translators who work on a lot of different projects the time taken for small amends quickly adds up. These are the usual steps translators will go through to ensure the quality of the original translation is maintained:

  • If the project is closed, they will find it and re-open it along with any related material, such as a style guides, to re-familiarise themselves with the translation they’ve created.
  • They will look back at the original instructions from the client, to remind themselves of the context, audience and tone of the translation e.g. formal, informal or brand specific.
  • For formats like Excel, which are difficult to edit in, they’ll move additional text to the correct place in their translation software to correspond with the original translation.

Why are there so many steps?

The re-familiarisation process is essential for revisions in order to achieve the same quality output.

If a question is placed incorrectly in a survey, or the rest of the survey isn’t checked before the additional translation, a seemingly simple question or answer can become senseless.

For example adding ‘none’ as an optional answer to a question may seem straightforward. However, unlike the English word, which has no gender, the translation of the word ‘none’ into languages like German, Italian or French will vary according to the subject of the related question.

Likewise, independent verbs will have different genders when translated out of English. Therefore, the question or accompanying text has to be found as a reference point to make the correct word choice.

Translations revisions at The Language Factory

At The Language Factory we only use qualified and experienced mother-tongue translators. When translating they know context is key, which is why it’s so important to them that they take the time to re-familiarise themselves with the original client brief and translation.

If you’d like to know more about how we maintain high quality throughout the translation process please call us for a chat on + 44 1727 862722 or email us at


“I have been using The Language Factory for all my translation work since I first came into contact with them four years ago. As a language graduate myself I am impressed with the accuracy of their work and their ability to handle specialist and technical subject matter in a variety of languages. As a PR company we are all delighted with the prompt and professional service we receive. Work is always delivered on the day promised, questions are asked if there is a difficulty of interpretation and there is always a follow-up to check that everything has gone smoothly. A terrific service I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.”

Account Manager PR Agency

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