Translation is complex procedure which, when performed correctly, should involve an extended dialogue between the selected Language Service Provider (LSP) and customer, concerning elements such as, language choice, service level, accuracy requirements, and so on.
The following tips will help you choose the right LSP for your needs, while also getting a translation that meets your expectations.
1. Translation, Localization, Transcreation and Level of Service
All translation companies offer a variety of services and translation levels which are selected depending upon each customers’ requirements, budgets, and intended use.
For instance, if you have a document which requires translation for your own personal use, then it is unlikely that you’ll require a 100% accurate, word for word translation. However, if you require multilingual translation services for your marketing materials when advertising your products overseas, then you will most likely expect an accurate, well-designed, and timely translation.
Ensuring you select the right level of service for your translation is essential if you hope to be satisfied with the end product.
Likewise, knowing when to choose a translation service, or a more involved localization service, is vital to the success of your service.
In case you aren’t clear on the difference between translation and localization, here is a quick reminder:
Translation: the process of changing a text, document, website, or multimedia product from one language (source) to another (target).
The target document should read clearly and accurately as if it was originally intended for this language, therefore, the document may not be a direct word-for-word translation (as this may not make grammatical sense in the target language) but will convey the message in a concise and accurate manner.
Localization: a more involved process than translation which involves consideration of elements such as, regional dialect, culture, language, target audience, and so on. It is a more emotive translation service as it requires an intimate knowledge of language, culture and people. It should, ideally, be performed by someone who is a native-speaker of the target language.
Localization will be a more costly service, and take longer, but it gives more accuracy and relevancy in a cultural sense.
Finally, if you are looking for an exceptionally detailed and culturally acceptable translation for items such as, marketing materials or website content, then it is worth considering Transcreation.
This is a mixture of translation, copywriting and design which encompasses all three elements in a bid to create content which has high cultural relevancy and acceptability, and is created for the specific audience without having undergone a straightforward translation procedure.
Choosing the most appropriate service level, and translation service, rather than the cheapest, will ensure you are satisfied with the end product.
2. Know Your Brand and Products
When translating content for business purposes it is vital that the language service provider, translator, or linguist understands your objectives, products, brand voice and the message you wish to convey.
If you do not have a concrete grasp on the brand identity you wish to transmit then your translator may misunderstand your approach, leading to your dissatisfaction with the end translation.
Be certain of the image you wish to project to potential customers and share this with your LSP as it will give them a greater understanding of your requirements.
Providing context for each translation project will also help your LSP to achieve success for you.
Make sure they are aware of the end use for the translation, (is it marketing material or in-house training document), kept up-to-date with any changes or alterations, and given time to finalize the translation including editing and proofreading.
3. Choose the Right Language Service Provider for your Industry
Technical translations are common in many industries and if you require specialist translation services then make sure you find a company that offers translators who are trained in your specific field.
It is also worth checking for quality certification such as, ISO9001 which gives an expected standard for quality service.
Building a good working relationship with your LSP can take time but it is definitely worth the effort. The more communication there is between you and your LSP, the better your translation project will be.
Following these few tips will help you choose a LSP to work with and help you realize a quality final translation.
Please remember though, professional translations and localizations take time to complete to a high standard – try to give your LSP adequate time to complete your project, and ensure you have thoroughly checked the original documents for spelling and grammar errors, as these will affect the quality of your translation.
If you would like to speak with a member of the Creative Word team about your translation or localization project, please contact us.
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