Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Grace Mick

Grace Mick holds a degree in legal translation from UADE. She is currently working as an in-house translator for a software publisher in the United States.

The Role of Revision in English-Spanish Software Localization

Supervisor: Anthony Pym

Research summary

The main task of this empirical research project is to explore the Spanish translation revision/review process of three software solutions developed by Siemens PLM Software Inc. We will focus our attention especially on the role of Spanish in-country reviewers or revisers as one of the main agents for localized output. The in-house translator and in-country reviewer team is emerging as a concept of interest to researchers, language teachers and translation practitioners. Translation revision efforts are becoming increasingly more relevant in a software localization scenario. The main research questions in this project are: Does the Spanish version communicate what the English does? Why do some Mexican customers prefer to use the English-language software applications? To evaluate the language appropriateness and functionality of the user interface of the PLM software products in the Spanish-localized versions, we conducted a detailed language evaluation of sixty UI segments translated and revised by in-house translators and in-country reviewers respectively. The data analysis indicates that translation and language errors were corrected during the revision stage. Furthermore, an electronic assessment questionnaire was completed by a select group of Siemens PLM software Spanish-speaking customers. The evidence from the survey instruments suggests that the localized version of the user interface reads fluently and naturally. However, the main statistical difference between the source and the target text was found in the number of functional errors. For this reason, some Spanish-speaking end-users actually switch to the English version of the software solutions. And finally, to further understand the Mexican customers' language preference, we collected and analysed a number of problem reports submitted by our application users during a six-month period. The evidence from the problem reports suggests that the number of PRs is low for that particular time frame and that there is no indication of any functional issues. The research findings should have important implications for the practice of software translation revision and for raising awareness that localization is a team effort involving more players than just translators and revisers.

Minor dissertation