The BALLOTrans™ Process
The BALLOTransTM methodology consists of five phases, from launch to final delivery:
￼Phase 1. Launch
Each BALLOTrans™ project begins with a launch meeting to communicate key project specifications. The convenient BALLOTrans™ Launch Checklist captures all critical specs, including as languages, due dates, document names, formats, etc. The client signs off on the Launch Sheet, ensuring clear, auditable approval of the project specs.
￼Phase 2. Translation/Edit/Proofread
Under the supervision of the Lead Translator (one for each target language), the translation team carries out the initial translation, editing and proofreading.
Our team uses a “double-blind” translation process in which the Translators and Editors cross-check each other’s work, signing off on the document at each step. This creates a verifiable audit trail of the translation process itself and ensures multiple eyes review each translation.
Note: BALLOTrans™ translations are all carried out by qualified professional (human) translators, never computer translation!
￼Phase 3. Quality & Review Cycles
The BALLOTrans™ process includes several quality assurance checks, including an optional “back translation” that can be useful when translating initiatives, measures, or complex propositions.
The translation draft may also undergo an independent review, usually carried out by a professional linguist, either client-appointed or Prisma-appointed.
Client-appointed reviewers may include your internal personnel (such as a bilingual staff member from your office), or an outside reviewer whom you appoint.
￼Phase 4. Community Review
In some cases, clients will want to have the translations reviewed by certain community-based agencies, entities or stakeholders. The Community Review can serve both a linguistic and a community relationship purpose, including:
- Providing valuable language feedback to the translation team;
- Helping to integrate community organizers into the election process by giving them a “voice” in the translation process;
- Improving the satisfaction level, or receptivity, of the translations by actual voters who will be using them.
The Community Review process is managed closely by the Prisma team, in order to keep the project on schedule and to keep the reviewers focused on adding value.
Phase 5. Validation
Validation refers to confirming the accuracy of the final translations as they appear in their published format:
- in the electronic voting system
- as printed paper ballots
- in an online system
- in any other medium
It is critical-to-quality to have Prisma validate the translations in their final format, in case any system errors, font issues, or formatting errors occur.
After final validation, the translations are signed off and delivered, and the final translations are archived in our translation memory for future reuse.