ULG's Language Services Blog

Tips for a Successful In-Country Review


Translated content needs to be tailored to the target audience it’s meant to reach. And validation processes throughout a localization project ensure global materials are not only linguistically correct, but also culturally relevant.

After a Language Service Provider (LSP) has its linguists go over a translated document, clients can employ In-Country Reviewers (ICRs) to make sure content will resonate with consumers in a certain region.

ICRs are not professional linguists, and adding another layer to the localization process might seem like a hassle. But clearly defining project goals and establishing thorough communication between linguists and ICRs can streamline the process.

In-Country Review In A Nutshell

The In-Country Review process allows a local reviewer, usually a client employee that is a subject matter expert, to review content that has been translated by an LSP. The process is helpful as ICRs will likely have a better sense of a company’s brand voice as well as terminology used in their industry.

Another plus is that if ICRs live in the area where translated materials will be distributed, they may have a better sense of a region’s localisms and culture.

At the same time, the process can be frustrating for a number of reasons. For one, bilingual ICRs are not professional translators. Their ability to proof copy is an asset for localization purposes, but they may lack the linguistic skills of professional language experts.

Handing an assignment to an ICR means an additional responsibility for them to take on in addition to their normal duties at work, too. This potentially takes away from their diligence in the review process.

Breaking the Bottleneck

It’s important for clients and LSPs to establish certain guidelines for ICRs to follow. Right away, it needs to be made clear that the ICR should be looking for inconsistencies in voice and company terminology. ICRs should watch out for typos or grammatical errors, too, but these should be taken care of by the LSP.

To get even more specific, companies might provide ICRs with a list of criteria they are expected to edit for. This way there are clear parameters set to avoid confusion among parties. Generally speaking, the job of an ICR is to enhance a translation rather than change it completely.

A client also needs to provide their reviewer with terminology and style guides used by the LSP in order to ensure consistency. ICRs should be given a project scope outline so they are aware of project milestones and meet with an LSP to get a feel for how a document has been translated and the reasoning behind it.

Prepping ICRs and creating coherent and uniform guidelines is extremely important if there is more than one In-Country Review involved in a project.

Finally, ICRs can assist the LSP by helping select a linguist they feel would create content that fits well with a client’s brand and message.

The Payoff

The In-Country Review process is a vital piece of any localization project, ensuring that a translation will live up to the cultural standards of its target market.

Establishing consistent guidelines for In-Country Review and recruiting knowledgeable native speakers to head the process means time and money saved.