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Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

What Are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in a Translation and Localization Context?

In the intricate world of localization and translation, the accuracy and authenticity of content can make or break the success of a project. As businesses and content creators strive to connect with a global audience, the role of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) becomes increasingly critical. SMEs, with their deep knowledge and expertise in specific fields, are pivotal in ensuring that translations not only convey the intended message but also resonate with the cultural and contextual nuances of the target audience.

The Role of SMEs in Localization

Subject Matter Experts are individuals with extensive knowledge and experience in a particular domain, such as legal, medical, technical, or financial fields. These experts are not necessarily professionals currently practicing in their fields, such as medical doctors, solicitors, or architects. Instead, they may be individuals with significant experience, including retired professionals who have pursued careers in the relevant industries, academic scholars, and lecturers, or individuals deeply familiar with the subject matter and terminology, such as legal secretaries in the context of legal translations or a nurse or pharmacist in the context of medical translation. In the case of translation for the gaming industry,  the SME would be an individual with a deep passion for MMORPGs, providing guidance.


Our project managers are responsible for the project management life cycle – from a project’s start to finish. We happily accept translation projects of a few hundred words to projects in the millions. We also gladly accept projects involving numerous languages and integrated services such as translation for e-Learning and multimedia platforms.

What Do SMEs Do?

The SME’s role is to provide guidance and advice to the editor. The use of an SME is an internal check and balance that VEQTA implements as part of its translation process workflow.


Upon request from the editor, the SME is there to aid the editor and provide guidance whenever needed. With insights into specialized terminology and contextual nuances, SMEs contribute to the overall quality and readability of translated materials. SMEs can also be instrumental in building purpose-made term-bases and glossaries for clients. This enhances quality and acts as another check and balance for technical accuracy in translation.

Why Not Make the SME the Translator or Editor?

Our translators and editors are full-time career professionals. Being in a full-time position requires the translators and editors’ fulfillment of respective phases in the Localization Project Management Life Cycle  as requested by clients and Project Managers. The SME is a senior career professional in an industry field related to the content but is not working as a full-time translator. Instead, the SME provides guidance, helping to discuss and select the most appropriate and commonly used phrases and terms within the industry field and text at hand.

The Scope of SMEs’ Input – The SME does not cover the validation of the content’s factual accuracy.

An important distinction in the role of SMEs is that their primary concern lies with the phrases and terminology used within the translation, rather than the factual accuracy of the content itself.

The SME’s input is crucial in ensuring that the terminology is appropriate, accurate, and aligns with industry standards. However, this does not extend to vouching for the accuracy or truthfulness of the content’s claims or statements. Their expertise is applied to ascertain that the language used is correct and relevant within the specific field, ensuring that translations maintain the intended professional tone and precision. This limitation is vital to understand, as it delineates the boundaries of an SME’s responsibilities, focusing on linguistic and terminological correctness rather than the verification of the content’s factual correctness.


If the source text is of substandard quality, the editor/SME may raise a flag to the project owner regarding the source. This may be discovered after the project is already handed off. If there is concern that the source text may require editing first in the source language, it’s always best to mention this to the Project Manager before handoff and during the scoping of the project. The SME aids the editor to find the right term.

The SME’s input is regarding the terminology used, it’s not vouching for the accuracy of the content itself.

The Value of SMEs in Different Contexts

Consider the legal field, where the precision of language is paramount. A legal secretary or a retired lawyer, serving as an SME, can provide invaluable insights into the nuanced language of legal documents, ensuring that translations meet the strict accuracy requirements of legal proceedings. Similarly, in the medical field, a practitioner or a researcher can ensure that translations of medical documents accurately convey critical information, keeping in mind the well-being of patients.


In technical sectors, such as engineering or IT, SMEs help in translating complex concepts and jargon into language that is both accurate and accessible to the target audience. This role is crucial in preventing misunderstandings that could lead to safety risks or operational inefficiencies.

Collaboration Between Editors and SMEs

The effectiveness of SMEs in a localization project largely depends on their collaboration with translators. While translators bring linguistic expertise and a deep understanding of the target culture, SMEs provide the subject matter expertise needed to ensure the content is accurate and appropriate. This collaborative effort requires clear communication, mutual respect, and an understanding of the project’s goals.

In the ever-evolving landscape of global communication, the role of Subject Matter Experts in localization cannot be overstated. They bridge the gap between linguistic excellence and subject matter accuracy, ensuring that translations not only communicate the intended message but also adhere to the cultural and regulatory standards of the target audience. By leveraging the expertise of SMEs, organizations can navigate the complexities of localization, enhancing their global reach and ensuring their message resonates with audiences around the world.


Translation Process

Our translation process is a meticulous approach that involves skilled linguists and industry-specific experts to ensure that your content is accurately translated while preserving its original intent. We focus on linguistic excellence, cultural relevance, and precision to deliver high-quality translations. Our process adapts your content for global audiences, helping you effectively connect with diverse markets.

Project Management

Our dedicated project management team is the backbone of our localization services. They coordinate every aspect of your project, from initiation to delivery, ensuring efficient workflows and timely results. With their expertise, you can rest assured that your localization project will be executed smoothly and in accordance with your requirements.

Project Management Life Cycle

At VEQTA Translations, we manage your projects throughout their entire life cycle. From project initiation, planning, execution, and monitoring to closure, our team ensures that your localization needs are met at every stage. This comprehensive approach guarantees that your content is consistently handled and delivered with excellence.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

In the intricate world of localization and translation, the accuracy and authenticity of content can make or break the success of a project. As businesses and content creators strive to connect with a global audience, the role of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) becomes increasingly critical.

Translation Memory

Leveraging the Trados termbase and translation memory, we enhance the efficiency and accuracy of our translations. This technology allows us to store and reuse terminology and phrases across multiple projects, ensuring consistency and reducing costs. With translation memory, you can count on us to maintain precision and coherence in your content.

Translation Style Guides

Our translation style guides play a crucial role in maintaining brand consistency, tone, and voice across multilingual content. We create customized style guides tailored to your specific needs and preferences. These guides serve as reference documents for our linguists, ensuring that your content remains on-brand and resonates with your target audience.

Translation Glossary & Termbase

We take care of creating and managing glossaries and term bases to guarantee precise and consistent translations. These resources are essential for ensuring that industry-specific terminology and key phrases are consistently used in your content. By maintaining a well-defined glossary and termbase, we enhance the accuracy and quality of your localized materials.


VEQTA Translations offers turnkey translation and comprehensive localization solutions in over 200 languages, ensuring content adaptation for diverse audiences. Our team consists of native speakers skilled in various domains. Beyond mere text, we handle everything from website localization to video subtitling, ensuring brand consistency. Our certified linguists undergo rigorous vetting to guarantee top-quality results. Our multimedia adaptations and desktop publishing services maintain the original feel of your materials. Each project is overseen by a dedicated manager to ensure timely delivery and consistent quality. With VEQTA, you receive a streamlined, professional service catered to all your translation needs. We offer transparent and competitive pricing and fast turnaround times.

VEQTA is a member of both the ATA (American Translators Association) and CATI (Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters). All of VEQTA’s translators hold professional certifications based on language and country, such as the ITBM certificate for Bahasa Malay. VEQTA employs only native-speaking translators who possess a Bachelor’s Degree and have passed rigorous language testing programs. Every translator has a minimum of 5 years of experience, while our editors boast experience ranging from 9 to 17 years.

All project-related communication is channeled through the assigned Project Manager. This ensures streamlined and efficient communication, as the Project Manager serves as a central point of contact. Our translators might not be located in your locale, may operate in different time zones, and given that projects often involve multiple languages, it’s most efficient to have all communications pass through the Project Manager. However, if there’s a pressing need for direct communication with a translator, such as discussing specifics in the target language, we can facilitate a video conference call to address your concerns.

After the project has been scoped, quoted, and handed off, the source material is prepared by the Project Manager and assigned to the translators. The translation undergoes a three-step process: Translation, Editing, and Proofreading, all performed by human translators and editors. If ordered, Desktop Publishing is carried out, followed by a final QA check before delivery. After delivery, the team remains available to address any additional requirements.

Yes, service customization is available and can be tailored based on your specific needs


Yes, at VEQTA, each client is assigned both an account manager and a project manager.


At VEQTA, we prioritize the confidentiality and security of our clients’ information above all else. To begin with, all of our staff and translators are bound by strict Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) that protect your data and any associated intellectual property. Furthermore, we adhere to global data protection standards, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which ensures that personal data is handled with the utmost care and respect for individual rights. Any data shared with us is encrypted, stored securely, and is accessible only to those directly involved in the project. With these measures in place, our clients can be assured that their confidential information remains private and protected throughout our collaboration.

VEQTA’s quality assurance process is multifaceted and meticulously implemented throughout the entire project life cycle, catering to diverse project needs, be it straightforward transcription, multi-language tasks, or multimedia deliverables. Central to our translation excellence is the delineation of the process into three distinct phases: Translation, Editing, and Proofreading.

Each phase is managed by linguists who specialize in their respective areas.


Yet, our quality assurance doesn’t end there. We utilize software-enabled platforms to run QA reports on all finalized texts. For instance, these tools can detect if a single source term has received multiple translations. Any discrepancies are flagged and sent back to our editors for review. The Project Manager collaborates closely with VEQTA’s QA staff, ensuring that QA reports have been thoroughly conducted. They also ensure that all deliverables adhere to given guidelines, such as the reference observance, utilization of legacy Translation Memories, and the overall accuracy and completeness of the final products.

Yes, for our repeat clients, one of the advantages of partnering with VEQTA is the complimentary creation and maintenance of a Translation Memory. This memory retains the legacy translations we’ve completed for you previously. Utilizing the Translation Memory enables our editors to ensure consistent translations, simplify version control, and offer a range of quality assurance benefits. This service is provided at no additional cost as part of our translation offerings.

Yes, you can review some of our client case studies in the ‘Case Study’ section. We understand that, due to the intangible nature of translation services, it’s challenging for requestors to anticipate the outcomes. To address this concern, we’re pleased to offer a complimentary test translation using an extract from your text, approximately 300 words in length, for evaluation purposes.