Today’s business world requires everything at top speed but in some instances, this can mean a loss of quality. In the realms of translation, time and quality are intimately linked but this doesn’t mean an accurate, speedy translation process is impossible.
Professional Language Service Providers (LSPs) often use computer aided translation tools (CAT) to assist with translation projects but is it still largely an intellectual process which relies heavily on the linguistic and cultural skill and knowledge of human translators.
However, there are a few tips which can facilitate a faster translation process, while still maintaining high levels of accuracy, and we would like to share them with you here.
1. Communicate with your Language Services Provider
As soon as you have decided you need the services of a translation provider and have chosen the best fit for your translation project, start talking to them about your requirements, timescales, resources, vision, budgets and so on.
This way, everyone connected with the project will be on the same page and your chosen translation provider will have a good idea of your objectives, brand voice, deadlines and language needs.
Communicating with your translator in advance of your project means that tasks such as, translation glossaries, design and content elements, and any preliminary consultations can be completed before the translation project is off the ground, thus saving valuable time once it has begun.
The more information you give your translation provider the better.
Remember to keep your translation provider in the loop regarding any changes in content or timescales, and if your priorities change in any way, let them know.
2. Create Content with Translation in Mind
Once you have chosen an LSP to work with on your translation project it is worth discussing your source content and guidelines for writing with translation in mind.
The following points can help keep writing simple and make the translation process smoother and faster:
• Write simply – don’t use overlong sentence structures, avoid long noun strings
• One term, one word – avoid using different words for the same term (for example, employee, workforce, team member, and so on)
• Avoid humour – this doesn’t translate well between cultures and languages
• Avoid colloquialisms – again, these don’t always translate and must be localised for different languages and cultures
• Use an ‘active’ voice – write content that is direct by using an active, not passive, voice as it is easier to translate. For instance, ‘another translator edited the content’ is active, whereas, ‘the content was edited by another translator’ is passive.
• Proofread source content – any mistakes will be duplicated throughout the translation process so make sure it is correct
Be aware that elements such as, weights, measures, dates, and phone numbers can alter in format depending upon the language and location.
For example, in English the 3rd of November is written 03/11/2020 but in Arabic it would be displayed 11/03/2020. Make sure your translator knows which format you are working from.
3. Translation Terminology and Glossary
Every translation project is different but there is one element which really helps to facilitate a more accurate and timely translation process every time – a translation terminology glossary.
Creating a glossary of frequently used words and phrases, and industry specific terminology, will help your chosen translation provider ensure consistency and save time.
The glossary will be translated then used by every translator dealing with your project.
Depending upon your chosen translation provider, they may also use Translation Memory (TM) tools to automatically replicate the words in your glossary which saves time on every translation they perform for you.
TM will find duplicate phrases, terms, and so on, and translate them automatically. The translator and editing processes check for any discrepancies to ensure high levels of accuracy and fluency.
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