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5 Translation tips you need to know!

When faced with a translation project for your company, it is likely you will have many questions about where to start. Whom do you hire? How quickly can the project be completed? What type of translation do you need? We have compiled five quick tips about translation to help your company get started.

  1. Research your options. There are a lot of companies and individuals out there who are able to deliver the translation back to you. Look for a reputable option that will best fit your needs. A translation agency should be able to offer translation, proofreading, editing and quality assurance. Compare quotes, but we definitely recommend ensuring your quote includes more than just translation. Having a second linguist review the original translation is a good way to avoid any potential errors the translator has possibly made.
  2. Don’t wait until the last minute. As soon as you find out about the translation project, reach out to your translation vendor of choice. The project manager assigned to your translation will be able to give you an idea of how long your project should take. This will allow you to plan ahead, and will also allow the vendor ample time to ensure that the translators and proofreaders who specialize in that field are available to translate your document in the time frame you specify. It will also help you avoid paying rush fees for a very quick turnaround time.
  3. Provide background on the audience when possible. If you are translating a document into French, will it be seen primarily by an audience in France, or perhaps Canada? Are the expected readers adolescents or adults? The more you are able to share about the intended audience of your translation, the easier it will be for the translator to appropriately convey the meaning of the original text, and the better the translation will ultimately be because of it.
  4. If you have other translated materials, share them. If your website is already translated into the target language, but you are now looking to translate the brochures in the office, let the project manager know this and share the link to the website. The translator can use the website as a way to maintain consistency between the website and the brochures. Also, if there are any terms you would like to keep in English, make sure to mention that. This is often the case with trademarked terms, for example, but a translator will need to know in advance.
  5. Be available for questions, or have someone available who is. Although much information is conveyed at the onset of the project, it is possible that the translator may have a question regarding a specific term or phrase in the original, and may need to know more in order to translate it correctly. Having someone available for the project manager to contact in these cases assures that valuable time is not lost in finishing your project.

These tips should help ensure the translation process goes as smoothly as possible for your company. If you have any other questions about how to get started (or what to expect along the way), please contact us!

Technical Manual Translation: 4 Tips for Clients

Technical manuals come in all forms and for all sorts of industries. Manuals are not just those that come with furniture, electronics and kitchen appliances. Technical manuals are used within factories, in construction, in production plants, etc. Industry is everywhere and the use of technical manuals are endless. So, it's incredibly important to understand some basics before submitting a manual for translation. When purchasing translation of a technical manual, here are some important points to keep in mind.

Be clear about your expectations. Translation of technical manuals is not done overnight, so be clear about your expectations when you approach a translation vendor. If you need the translation back quickly, be prepared to pay rush fees. If you only want certain pages of the manual translated, make sure these are clearly pointed out or marked before you hand over the source document. This will help the vendor to give you an accurate quote and turnaround time for the project.

Decide if you need the vendor to recreate images and drawings or if you will have your own team handle these. If you choose to handle the formatting and recreation of images and drawings, you will inevitably save money and time. Translation agencies can handle many types of documents and files, so if you need the vendor to assist with images and drawings, be expected to pay a higher price than if you simply have the text translated and formatted.

Request that industry- and company-specific names be maintained. Certain words on switches or keys that also appear in manuals should be left in the source language if they will also appear on machinery or in software. This will allow those who utilize the manual to recognize these terms and feel comfortable operating equipment. If the terms in the manual differ from those on equipment, it can be more confusing than useful.

Be sure that your vendor creates a glossary or Translation Memory (TM) for your manual. This ensures consistency for future manuals into the same language, as well as other supporting documents. If you find an agency that produces an excellent first manual for your company, stick with them. They will be able to consistently produce high quality translations by employing the same linguists and TMs for your documents. When it comes to manuals, remember one thing if nothing else: consistency is key.