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In-country Review: What it is and Why it Matters

Zsófia Lelner
Zsófia Lelner - 31/01/2024

5 minute read

What is an In-country Review?

When talking about localization, the difference between translated and localized content often comes up. Localization means that in addition to translating the textual material itself, you tailor the content to the audience who is in a particular location. Converting the measurement units and ensuring that the text works in the given location and context is an example of localization.

This is why in-country review plays an increasingly important role in your localization process. In-country review means that an in-country reviewer (or, in other words, a subject matter expert who lives in the target country) reviews and updates the finished translation.

This means that you likely have to choose a different expert for each translation project and need to pick the perfect person for each job. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to pick the best in-country reviewer for a given task.

What Makes a Good In-country Reviewer?

Ideally, the subject matter expert you hire for a specific project is bilingual because they understand the source and the target language. Of course, you have translators as well as term bases and translation memories to ensure accuracy and correct terminology, but an in-country reviewer can be an added asset to the process.

Next, you have to be sure that the in-country reviewer lives in or is from the market/ target location of your content. In the ideal translation workflow, one of the steps in the process would be having someone from the actual audience review the text.

The same goes for the subject matter of the text. Your ideal candidate also knows the topic of the text or even comes from the industry—sometimes an in-country reviewer is not even a translator or an editor.

Occasionally it can happen that you can’t find all these qualities in one person, so more than one in-country reviewer must be involved. When working with multiple experts, collaboration is a huge aspect to take into consideration. When setting up your translation workflow, you need to choose a TMS that offers a seamless experience within the TMS environment while working with subject matter experts, removing the need for manual steps such as exporting and importing documents. Without this seamless experience, exports of the content result in less control over the review process and allow for more room for error, due to the fact that resources such as TBs and non-translatables are unavailable to guide in-country reviewers.

Moreover, it is also helpful if your in-country reviewer can easily navigate the software that your company uses in the localization process. Since an in-country reviewer is not necessarily always a linguist, you also need to make sure that you work with tools that are intuitive and easy to use for all the participants of the translation process.

Why is In-country Review Important?

In-country review can serve multiple purposes, depending on text type, target audience, and even industry. First, when someone from the actual target audience reviews the translation, they ensure that the text is easily understandable and resonates with the audience, using the actual terminology and culturally appropriate language and style.

In-country reviewers can also bring in vital expertise when it comes to the target industry. This is especially important when it comes to regulated industries, such as life sciences or finance. In these industries, a lot depends on correct and consistent terminology. An in-country reviewer can help you make sure that your audience trusts you enough to buy your product or use your service—after all, you show that you understand them and speak their language.

How to Make Sure Your In-country Review Process is Flawless

With the in-country review being a complex process involving multiple stakeholders, some pitfalls can stand in the way of a flawless, accurate translation. Let us give you some pointers on how to avoid those and what steps to take before and during the in-country review.

In-country Review Starts Before the Actual Review Process

In-country review is usually done after the editing stage of the translation process, but before formatting, final QA, and publishing. Therefore, when preparing a document for in-country review, you need to take some steps even before you bring in your subject matter expert.

As a first step, make sure you define the goal and the exact scope of the project (i.e., to what degree the reviewer needs to make modifications). Give clear instructions to your local expert on what feedback you need. Specify the tool or tools to be used and instruct the person on how and in what format to deliver the reviewed document.

Provide Your Reviewer With the Necessary Tools

When it comes to in-country review, the most important factors to consider are seamless review process management, having a user-friendly and intuitive solution, and removing risks associated with manual work and exports.

memoQ's In-Country review (ICR) tool allows you to handle the entire translation workflow, including the in-country review step, within the memoQ TMS environment. This ensures a seamless, integrated process, which provides project managers with the control they need.

memoQ's ICR tool also provides flexibility. Project managers can choose what resources subject matter experts receive access to. Companies perform in-country reviews in different ways, and having this flexibility when it comes to configuration is important to best answer the different needs of PMs.

This also cuts out manual steps from the translation process. No export of the documents or outside communication is necessary. This means that the ICR tool also removes the risks associated with exports and manual work when working outside the memoQ TMS environment.

memoQ's Browser-Based In-country Review Tool: Work From Anywhere, Anytime

Besides eliminating manual steps, we have ensured that memoQ’s In-country review tool is user-friendly and intuitive. This applies even to those subject matter experts who do not come from the language industry and have no experience with translation management systems. There is no need for any lengthy training or onboarding. Thanks to our browser-based tool, the in-country reviewer can easily learn to use the UI and get to work in no time.

All they need is an internet connection, and they can work from anywhere, at any time, and on any type of computer.

Ensure Flawless Communication Between Stakeholders Within the Process

In-country review is often treated as a separate process, and not as an integral part of localization. This is especially true if you’re working with a reviewer who is not from the language industry. However, it can benefit your process as well as the result if you provide a clear line of communication between your subject matter expert and your translator.

Questions, clarifications, and information do not have to go through different channels and multiple people, which reduces the margin for error as well as makes the process faster and more seamless.

Final Thoughts

In-country review is a crucial step in your localization process to make sure that your content is tailored to the local audience to a maximum extent, so you must treat this step just as important as any other. We hope this article sheds some light on how to choose the best reviewer as well as the necessary actions to take to ensure success.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will shed some light on how to make the most of the in-country review process with memoQ’s functionality! And while you wait, hear more about ICR from memoQ’s Product Manager, Zsolt Varga.


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Zsófia Lelner

Zsófia Lelner

Linguist turned content marketer, telling the story of memoQ.

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