Accelerating translation delivery sounds great—but only if it doesn’t come at the expense of quality. At LinguaeMundi, we’re big on processes and we use every opportunity we can to improve how we collaborate internally. This is something we call “relentless introspection” and it also ties into how we approach problem-solving and address client complaints.

One of the greatest systems we introduced that really made a difference is the Code Blue Color Coding. It enables much better communication between linguists who translate the texts and editors who review them. Moreover, it saves up to 25% of the revisor’s time which ultimately means better translation quality and a stress-free collaboration.

Looking for translation services? LinguaeMundi has been around for more than 25 years and has the best linguists in the industry. Request a quote and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Understanding the challenges linguists and editors face

Both linguists who translate the content and editors who do quality assurance have to deal with their own set of challenges. If they are forced to work in a siloed organization, it only makes it worse. Work becomes frustrating which negatively impacts productivity and the quality of their output.

Below is an overview of challenges faced by linguists and editors alike:
Role Challenges
  • Using too many tools 
  • Dealing with the lack of consistency in source content
  • Ensuring fast translation turnaround while preserving quality
  • Engaging in too many back-and-forths 
  • Not having clear standards and/or glossaries to rely on
  • Missing visual and/or cultural context
  • Wasting too much time on quality assurance due to inefficient workflows
  • Efficiently addressing ambiguity in translations
  • Lack of standards in the translation management process
  • Efficiently communicating with translators async
  • Project scope creep due to unforeseen back-and-froths
  • Spotting spelling and grammar errors when working within tight deadlines 

The nature of translation work is asynchronous and everyone’s an important link in the value chain. If you take a look at the above-listed challenges, you can see a common theme: inefficient communication and the lack of standardization in one translation process causes a lot of issues.

In our experience, there are three main things that help people do their work the best:

Of course, training and support go on top of these and are necessary to ensure translators and other team members develop professionally and adhere to quality standards.

Meet our Code Blue Color Coding system

We always make sure that each project has a dedicated glossary, a clear style guide, and the Code Blue Color Coding system in place. This system allows translators to effectively point out things that require particular attention from the revisors or to indicate why a certain word has been translated in a specific way.

The system includes four different colors (blue, orange, green, and red) that are used in communication between translators and revisors. Instead of delivering translations and then letting the revisors struggle with interpreting the logic behind particular word choices, linguists use color coding to make everyone’s life easier.

Here’s what each color means:

This system makes it incredibly simple to work async and it increases team productivity. Directing the attention of the revisor via color codes allows all participants in the translation ecosystem to work independently and stress-free.

What this looks like in practice

Each translator is responsible for evaluating how confident they are of the accuracy of the translation. This means that essentially, it’s a subjective self-assessment based on knowledge of the area and the number of quality sources. 

For example, blue would be used when sources for terminology use are reliable, from credible sources in the field, and sufficient.

Example of using blue.

Green is for when the translator has suggestions of alternative terms or expressions, particularly in literary translations.

Example of using green.

Orange indicates warning in cases when, for example, terminological or linguistic choices have serious implications for the context, but the translator is not sure if the translation is accurate. So, if there are potential consequences for the meaning, purpose, or quality of the work - orange color would signal that

Example of using orange.

And last but not least, red indicates that there are serious errors in the original content or that there are some issues that require immediate attention. In most cases, the client needs to be notfiied and/or asked for clarification.

Example of using red.

Below you can see some scenarios that translators might find themselves in, and the appropriate color to use.

Hypothetical scenario Appropriate color
When I’m choosing a term, I only found one source but it’s from the client’s website… Blue
Found several terms in the client’s source languages to translate the same term… Green (reach out to the client to communicate there’s a need to standardize terminology)
I’m choosing a term and I don’t feel confident about my choice yet found a couple of sources none of which are great … Orange
Large chunks of the text on the PDF are missing as a result of poor scanning…. Red

How the Code Blue Color Coding system fits into our work culture

Company culture is embodied in shared values, the way we work together, and how we treat our clients. Something that our employees and external contributors appreciate about LinguaeMundi is the undeniable team chemistry inside the company. Think of it as a relay race where each team member carries the baton to the next person in the process, and does it committedly, driven by a genuine wish for collective success.

Our linguists are professional and true masters of their craft, but they are also kind, flexible, and willing to adapt to systems that have proven to be beneficial for all. That’s something many of our clients consider our X factor. But hey, if you don’t value human relationships and don’t care about making things a bit easier for others, then what’s the point, really?

The Code Blue Color Coding system also aligns with the fact that we, as a company, are true believers in individual and collective responsibility and we always brainstorm as a team to improve how we work. In nine out of ten cases, if a problem occurs, it’s not a single person who’s to be held accountable. Rather there are some flaws in the process that need to be addressed. 

The Code Blue Color Coding system reinforces our commitment to transparency and fosters better collaboration. For instance, LinguaeMundi’s team has a reputation for being a “daredevil” since we’re not afraid to take on complex and challenging projects other LSPs reject. But this ultimately means we need to up our game internally and continuously revise our processes, tools, and systems to deliver the best work. The Code Blue Color Coding system has proven to be an incredibly efficient system that supports who we want to be as a language service provider.

Saving up to 25% of the revisor’s time for each translation project

The Code Blue Color Coding system helps us save up to 25% of the time on each project's review while also reducing mistakes. This means that your project will be finished faster, you’ll save money, and the quality will be great.

There are some business scenarios where the speed of translation delivery is crucial. For example, marketing and product managers working for tech companies know how important it is to carefully plan international launches and come up with a well-thought-out go-to-market strategy. Localization and translation are important pieces of the puzzle as they fuel business growth and help with user acquisition.

However, being late to market can be costly. Potential loss of revenue and market share is something that global strategists need to factor in. This is why we often point out that your language service provider is not someone that just delivers translations. On the contrary, with the right experience, your chosen LSP can become your external partner and even help you out with additional services such as cultural consulting.

At LinguaeMundi, we wholeheartedly want to see you succeed. This is why the company’s CEO is very hands-on and more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our work philosophy, processes, and industry experience. The Code Blue Color Coding system is just one of many great ways we ensure that everyone working on a project is on the same page.

Looking for translation services? LinguaeMundi has been around for more than 25 years and has the best linguists in the industry. Request a quote and we’ll get back to you ASAP.