You’ve asked all the right questions and chosen an experienced language company. You’ve played it safe and asked a co-worker or physician to review their work and then Wham! Your reviewer complains of poor quality work and the translation company steadfastly stands behind their translation. Who should you believe? What do you do when you can’t read the document?
Here are a few steps that we’ve found helpful:
- Don’t give too much weight to the initial, verbal comments. Both reviewers and translators will often make inaccurate statements until they have had time to thoroughly review the materials.
- Get everything in writing. Have the reviewer document their concerns and have the language company document their responses. In our experience, some reviewers make comments based on a cursory review. Other times reviewers will make comments in an attempt to be helpful. When more time is taken to thoroughly understand the material, they often realize that their comments were misleading or were based more on preference than substance. A professional firm will acknowledge when their linguists make mistakes and will also clearly document deficiencies in the reviewer’s position.
- Review and compare the qualifications of both the translation team and your reviewers. At times, either the reviewer or the translation team will not have the appropriate skills for the task at hand. Healthcare materials require not only strong language skills but also strong familiarity with the protocols and procedures of the healthcare system. The best translators have experience working in or utilizing the U.S. healthcare system.
- If all else fails, seek out an additional, independent opinion. Some reviewers will focus on issues of style and preference and mis-characterize them as errors. If you bring in an additional reviewer and they disagree with the first, you’ll develop a much better feel for the nature of the true problem. If you want or need to include more than one reviewer per language, it’s best to select a lead reviewer who will have the authority and responsibility to consolidate all comments and submit a single, coordinated response. Sometimes this is not possible and your language company should assist in coordinating reviewer comments.
Click here for the MAGNUS translation review form. This is the form we use when working with reviewers to ensure that accurate information is received.
As you work with different reviewers and, perhaps with different language companies, we think you’ll realize that by working with MAGNUS, you can’t get any closer to healthcare.