Translation Process

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Partner collaborations
We work with the International Rescue Committee and other partners to identify emerging issues that will require communication and get insight into the themes and approaches that will be the most effective.

Review of CDC Materials
Our team collaborates with a health communications expert to review and analyze guidelines and communications developed by the CDC and convert them into simple, memorable text that will be as easy as possible to translate, while following the recommendations of our partners.

Final Check
We invite our partners and the CDC to review the final product before it is translated to ensure it continues to adhere to the most current guidelines.

Documents are formatted and designed by a professional graphic designer. When the document features photos, the NRC-RIM team selects royalty-free stock photos featuring people with diverse bodies, skin tones and cultural markers like clothing or food. We also use photos where faces are partially or fully obscured, or that incorporate design elements like dark gradients so that people from many different backgrounds may see themselves reflected in the image.

Three-step process
We contract with INGCO International to provide professional translation services using a three-step process, which goes above and beyond industry standards. For most languages, the translation is completed by a professional translator, edited by a second translator, and reviewed by a linguist. For some more rare languages, they may use a two- rather than three-person team. 

Ensuring cultural competency
Each translator and linguist is fluent in the target language of the translation and resides within the target community, ensuring that they have an in-depth understanding of the target audience. The language team works together to determine the message of a text prior to translating; they are trained to dissect the messages from the source text rather than translate words literally.

For difficult source texts where the wording is less literal or contains idiom or sarcasm, the linguists collaborate with one another or with their project managers to determine the best direction to take the translation. This sometimes includes developing alternative source text messages with the same meaning but more straightforward wording. 

Reviewer Selection
We choose a member from the community who is fluent in English and the community's language to flag any issues with the translation. 

Review Process
We ask our reviewers to catch issues such as offensive language, sections that no longer make sense or where the message has been significantly changed, and/or sections where the reader cannot understand the intended message. We also ask them to identify whether or not the translation and background photos are culturally appropriate.

Each community reviewer is given a form to fill out that asks if the translation is accurate, if it uses the right tone, and is culturally appropriate. They also have the option to add comments and suggest changes. 

We know our community reviewers' time is valuable, so we compensate them for an estimated 1-2 hours of work with the expectation that they would also be able to review additional documents in the future.

We provide the community reviewer’s feedback on the translation to INGCO, so that their linguist team can consider the changes. The INGCO linguists ultimately decide whether or not to incorporate this feedback into the final product.

If the community reviewer determines that the featured photo would not be received positively by their community, a member of the NRC-RIM team works with them to find a photo that is more culturally affirming. 

The published product includes ready-to-use versions as well as customizable templates, so that our stakeholders can change the URL and logo to meet any brand requirements their organization has. The templates also allow anyone to change the photo to one more suitable to their specific local community if they so choose.

Because our translation process is so rigorous and the content is developed using a careful process that adheres to CDC guidelines, the templates do not allow users to easily change the text on the materials.