Transladiem’s core translation process is based on the TEP approach that is used on every single translation project we carry out for our clients. TEP is an acronym that stands for Translation, Editing, and Proofreading. Together, these three steps represent the process by which professional translators produce high-quality translations. The ISO 17100, which is the international standard for translation services, recognises TEP as the best practice for translation.
Here is a clear definition break-down of the TEP steps:
During the translation stage, a first linguist is involved to get the first draft of the translated content into the target language. It is key to employ a professional linguist who is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) of the field or the specialisation to which the project content belongs (Pharma, legal, automotive, social media, etc) and a native speaker of the target language. Modern translators are aided by Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools, Glossaries, and Translation Memories (TMs) to achieve top quality and make sure to respect the client’s requirements. Transladiem always preps the translation project scrupulously and includes all instructions and side resources for the linguists so they can translate efficiently and culturally align source and target text, with an inherent focus on correct terminology, grammar, accurate wording, consistency, country-specific language conventions, and style, as well as other project-specific or client and market-specific instructions, guidelines, or regulatory requirements. For any complex terminological matters or doubts that would require the client’s input, the linguist liaises with Transladiem project managers to raise their queries and await the relevant answers from our team.
Once a document has been translated, the editing stage can begin. The process starts with an editor, also called revisor or proofreader in some instances, who rectifies any obvious errors in spelling and grammar, although their main goal is to ensure the document makes sense, is clear, concise, and that it fits the brief. The revisor also makes sure that the translation does not contain any mistranslations, omissions, missing words, bad wordings or literal translations by checking source sentence against target sentence one by one. To put it simply, the process of editing involves reviewing a piece of text and making changes to improve its quality. By doing this, the flow of writing improves, thereby creating a more cohesive copy. This could involve changing the wording of a sentence or rewriting an entire paragraph. Any small spelling, grammar changes and rewordings are typically made on the spot using a tracking function, so these edits can be reviewed in a final stage before being approved or rejected. However, when it comes to terminology or factual changes, the revisor will raise queries with our project managers so we can check with the client stakeholder and provide accurate answers to our linguists. As a rule of thumb when dealing with any form of written communication, the editing stage is crucial for refining a translated text in terms of linguistic accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and meeting specific requirements mandated by clients or shareholders. And just like the linguist involved in the translation stage, the editor must be a native speaker of the target language and have previous experience in the subject field to which the localized text pertains. All in all, the revisor is checking the work delivered by the translator and improving it by fixing potential human oversights or misalignments with the project instructions. Editing seeks to improve the overall quality of writing by enhancing flow, readability and structure.
Proofreading can be described as the final review stage, where the focus is on the terminology, message, and structure of the whole text, enhancing the overall quality of the project. This is also where our project managers will review the changes inserted by the revisor from the editing stage and accept or reject the changes. The proofreading stage is key to ensure top quality is achieved by triggering an in-depth review to find any lingering errors before the translation project is successfully submitted. Another spellcheck is run at this stage and structural checks are also performed on the overall content. Proofreading is the final correcting of surface errors such as grammar, spelling and punctuation. It completes the translation project that is carried out by profession translators.
Note that it is quite common that the editing and proofreading stages are often used interchangeably in the localisation industry, with not many people understanding the core differences between the two processes. Indeed, they are similar but certainly not the same. They use different techniques and are very much focused on different elements of the revision process as described above.
Systematically applying the TEP localisation workflow allows Transladiem to guarantee superior quality translation output to our clients, meeting specific requirements, and avoiding blatant mistakes and the offending of any cultural sensitivities. The TEP process is a solid guarantee for achieving the highest quality standard in translation and ensures full compliance with the translation industry standard (ISO 17100:2015).