Subject-Matter Expert (SME) Review Instructions


______________ SME Review Instructions ______________


A Subject-Matter Expert review consists of reviewing the terminology, fluency, and style. The translation received should already be fine from the linguistic point of view (grammar, no mistranslations, etc.). For this task, the reviewer should only focus on the terminology and phrasing used by the target audience.

When you review the text, please make sure that the text is in line with other content produced by the partner. Please, look at the text from the perspective of the end-user and see if it’s understandable and clear, as well as using the correct terminology.


If you have any questions or need anything, please do not hesitate to contact your Project Officer. They are happy to help out!


The Project Officer who assigned this task will provide you with:

  • The source file
  • Language Style guide
  • Glossary
  • The text to review: the document you receive is a bilingual DOCX file. This document is an export of a bilingual file from our Translation Management Tool (TMS).

As shown in the screenshot below, there is one column in gray that corresponds with the source text and one column corresponding with the target text (translation):


  1. Please read the source file so you get familiarized with the context and subject matter.

  2. Please review the translation in the bilingual DOCX and apply any terminology, phrasing and style changes that make the translation appropriate for the target audience.
    changes that make the translation appropriate for the target audience.
    a. Use track changes when you work on the review. Working with track changes helps us to easily identify the changes that were made to the file. To use the Track changes/Editing mode in Word, please follow these instructions.
    b. Do not edit anything outside the target column: in the DOCX file received, you notice that you do not only have the source and target columns. On the first page, you have instructions and the title of the columns, as seen in the screenshot below in yellow. Please don’t modify those.

c. Do not modify/delete the placeholders (tags, links) that you encounter in the bilingual file. Usually, when you work directly in a Translation programme, you can see them in colors and with numbers, however in the bilingual DOCX export you received, they appear as in the screenshot below:

It is important not to delete or modify them as they help the Project Officer reproduce the formatting of the source when generating the final file.

  1. If you make a change, check that the same phrase or sentence is not repeated in the file. If it is, please make sure you implement your change consistently throughout the file.

  2. Once the SME review is completed, run one last spell-check.

  3. Deliver the bilingual DOCX file to the Project Officer.

Should you want/need to leave a comment you can use the Comment function in Word, do not add your comment in the last column of the bilingual DOCX file.

You may come across issues in the source file, problems you were unable to resolve, or areas in which you still think improvements are possible. Submit these to the Project Officer as soon as possible, in case anything can be solved while doing the review. Otherwise, please, compile any pending points or comments in an email and share them with your PO.

Pre-delivery checklist

:ballot_box_with_check: Have I received all the documents and reference files I need to complete this task?
:ballot_box_with_check: Have I checked all my doubts and questions with the Project Officer?
:ballot_box_with_check: Have I checked all the terminology related to the domain of the translation?
:ballot_box_with_check: Is the translation appropriate for the target audience?
:ballot_box_with_check: Have I applied my changes consistently in the file?
:ballot_box_with_check: Have I run one last spell-check?