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A BLOG FOR THOSE WITH VISION...


You Need a Specialized Translator! And Here’s Why…

If you’ve ever seen a translator’s resume, you may have noticed that he or she has a section dedicated to specializations.  It may seem like a long list of specializations means that the translator is extremely qualified for just about any job out there. After all, if this person specializes in just about every field, it seems like a sure fit for your project. However, the opposite may actually be true. While this person may be an experienced translator in a good many fields, it is highly unlikely that he or she is a specialist in all of them. To be a specialist, by definition, is to be one who is devoted to a particular branch of study or research. A shorter list of specializations may often indicate that the linguist has been able to devote more time to these areas, and is therefore well versed in the terminology and complexities of the fields. Whatever your translation needs, it is important to choose a linguist who truly specializes in the field your project falls under, so as to ensure the best quality work. In language, there is a sizeable difference between general, day-to-day speech and specialized vernaculars. It is entirely possible to speak two different languages, but not fully understand the jargon you would hear in the Information Technology (IT) field, even in your own native language. If someone does not have a firm grasp of these terms in his or her native language, there is a great risk of translation error when trying to understand the term in another. Someone with a degree in IT who has also spent 10 years in the workforce working on computers and systems will have a much stronger grasp of concepts and terms within that field than someone who studied chemistry and has worked in a laboratory, for example. If your company is looking for a linguist who is well versed in the terminology your IT specialists would normally use, it makes much more sense to choose the person with a background similar to your needs, provided that he or she also shows a high level of competency in the translation field (experience, references, etc.).

ATS can also assist you with Desktop Publishing services to bring your translation to life with images, graphics and layout.

On the same note, if your goal is to translate several academic studies in various fields for your local university, you will not likely want the same linguist who translated a paper in the chemistry field to translate an engineering paper, or a paper about modern prose. Each of these subjects will require a translator who is competent in the specialized lingo of each subject. In addition, it is important to maintain the original tone of the document or article when translating. If the original reads as if it were written for professional biochemists with plenty of time spent in the field, the translation must also read this way. The jargon and terms used must be along the same lines. The article would lose its integrity within the academic community if it read as thought it were written for students taking an entry-level science course.

While the thought of finding a linguist who specializes in your particular field may seem overwhelming or daunting, we have already done this work for you. Gathering resumes and vetting qualified linguists who specialize in a vast array of fields, it is likely that we already have someone perfectly suited for your particular project. And if we don’t, we have the resources to quickly and efficiently recruit someone who is, removing the pressure from you. Allow us to help you succeed at what you do best by counting on us for what we do best.

Three Things You Should (But May Not) Know about the Translation Process

We understand that it can be a little confusing or overwhelming when you first begin looking into translating your company’s materials. Here are a few things we feel may be beneficial to know as you begin.

1. Translation is a multiple-step process. While it could seem that translation is just a single step of translating a document from one language to another, it is actually quite the opposite. Just as a well-written essay needs to be reviewed for errors, properly formatted, and the information debated if necessary, the translation process is much the same. Even the most highly skilled translators will not return a perfect translation every time.  Once the translation is finished, a proofreader will review the translation and compare it with its source document to check for any potential errors. If there are questions about the document and the word choices, the project manager you’re working with will help field those between the translator and proofreader, to ensure that the best possible final product is returned to you. Often, there is an editing step involved as well. After the translation is finalized, the project also undergoes a quality assurance step. All font choices, spacing and images, for example, will be reviewed to ensure that the formatting of the translation matches the source file. Knowing this information can help you properly plan for completing your project on time for your company.

2. If something changes in the document you’re having translated (a sentence is added or removed, something is reworded, etc.), it’s best to advise the project manager handling your project as quickly as possible. If the change is brought to our attention early enough, we may be able to ask the linguists working your translation to input the changes during the translation or proofreading steps. If we are not made aware of the changes until after we return the document to you, we will have to ask our linguists to retranslate the parts that have changed, possibly resulting in subsequent charges (or minimums).

3. When possible, bundle smaller translations to be done at once. This step could save you a good deal of money! Linguists often charge minimum amounts for shorter translations, resulting in higher charges for you. However, if you have three or four shorter documents that can be bundled together into one project, we can ask the linguist to combine them, thus avoiding a minimum payment for you.

Our goal is to make sure that you are satisfied with your translation by making our working relationship as seamless and easy as possible. If there is anything we can do to help or questions we can answer along the way, please reach out to the project manager handling your translation!

Hiring Translators With Specializations Is Key For Any Industry’s Translation Needs

The texts your business produces are not all the same in content. Some may be meant for ads, while others are more technical for manuals or internal documents. Your industry may have very specific register, or terminology that is used only within your industry's setting. The common person may not have any idea what a “sidewall retainer bolt” is, much less know how to translate it into another language. The same can be true for terminology regarding advertising, human resource materials, website text, etc. Just as businesses specialize and operate in niche areas, so do translators. Therefore, it’s important to consider working with specialized translators for your documents and web materials in order to obtain the most accurate translations possible.

Consider a scenario in which your company’s legal department requires a service provider agreement to be translated into Spanish. You may have a trusted translator who handles your brochures and marketing materials throughout the year. However, the translator may not have the same level of expertise or linguistic knowledge in the target language when it comes to legal texts. In this case, it’s best to seek another translator with such expertise or hire an agency with the ability to place a professional legal translator on your project.

When receiving a resume from a potential translator that has areas of specialization in just about every field imaginable, we become very skeptical. Even in one’s own native language, it can be difficult to carry on a conversation with someone in a field with we don’t deal with daily. Even if a client requests a translation and adds, “It’s really not technical at all,” or “It’s pretty straightforward content,” we make sure to place it with the linguists who we know are specialized in the content area(s). One can never be too sure when it comes to accurate translations for their business. It could mean the difference between winning a contract with a potential client or never hearing from them again.