04 Nov Some tips to follow in order to get quality translations every time
To remain competitive, the goal of translation is always to correctly communicate your message into another language. This allows your business expectations to carry on to the local population. But how can you find an expert in that foreign language? What should you expect from them? And what are the details you must communicate with them before getting quality translations?
How to get quality translations
You get what you pay for. You may try to evade the cost of professional translation, but rarely is this a good option. Translation is a skill that requires fluency in two languages, and lots of knowledge on grammar and writing. Some say it even requires the right talent. The right translators are always paid accordingly, so avoid ‘bargain’ translations.
Be aware that machine text translations can give a good general outline for translations, but they often lack proper context and sentence structure. For specialized topics, hire professional writers that have relevant experience. For instance, the sentence: “The assistant took a picture of a celebrity on the way to the club”, might confuse the computer. It won’t know which went to the club, the assistant or the celebrity.
Words count – a great deal. The number one important item to consider is the amount of words to translate. Simply put, the more words there are, the more time it takes to translate them. Try your best to be concise in writing your content. This means you edit your content before submitting for translation. Also, avoid redundancy in order to get quality translations.
Some documents are harder to translate than others. Expect to pay more for technical content. A common business letter will always stand cheaper compared to a manual of computer engineering.
Alterations and additions incur revision costs. Always proofread the content you will submit. This ensures that there will be no further revisions. More revisions will incur extra charges since the translator will have to go out of his/her way again to translate!
Turnaround time depends on how technical the content is, as well as the required dialect. Always give enough time for the translator to do your translations. Since professional translators are high in demand, expect them to be a bit late on starting with your translation.
The more information, the better. It doesn’t cost you a single penny to send extra reference materials along with your content to be translated. This will ensure that the translator will do a better job and you’ll get quality translations. Reference materials may include glossaries, product catalogs, or drawings. Also, always answer your translator’s questions as they arrive. More information creates better translations.
OK, once again: proof the source document for potential errors in grammar and spelling. This will prevent major delays on your translations, since your content is already finalized for translating.
Be sure the software of your original documents is compatible with your translator’s. PDF or Excel may be great for viewing, but usually they aren’t best translating. Present to your translator DOC or RTF files instead.
Create a multilingual glossary of important text. This ensures consistency. Also, your terminology might not always be obvious for someone not specialized in your field. Never send words in the glossary that are obviously basic like ‘bolt’ and ‘screw’, since it is assumed the translator has more than enough background for that.
Have your translated documents reviewed by a native speaker. Never ask just anyone to review work that took lawyers, engineers, and professional translators to translate.
And, when the time comes to pay your translator, pay on time! Professional service deserve professional treatment, and ensures the translator will work for you in the future too.
If you want to get quality translations every time, just make sure you use a professional translation agency which will provide the best output and will cost you less in the end (they also assure proofreading and editing so you don’t have to find someone else to proofread the translation for you).