35 Tips for Successful Translation
Barb Sichel | March 8, 2017
International Language Services provides expert translation of specialized documents for businesses, such as medical device and industrial manufacturers. We provide successful translations that communicate clearly and consistently across all of the languages you need.
We know that planning, writing, formatting, vendor selection and project execution are key to ensuring your translation is completed accurately and efficiently. To celebrate our 35th year in business, we’ve provided 35 tips to help you streamline the translation process and produce successful translations for your organization.
Planning & Preparation Tips for Successful Translation
- Plan for the desired outcome. Think your project through.
- Incorporate required translations into your budget and project plans.
- Understand what drives costs.
- Designate an in-house resource as your translation point person.
- Provide project drafts for cost and timeline estimates.
- Prioritize translations and break projects down to fit your budget.
- Understand how “translation memory” can be leveraged to your advantage.
- Write for translation. Avoid idioms. Use simple sentences.
- Know your audience (geographic locale).
- Plan how you will manage in-country feedback.
- Select the proper source application for your project.
- Understand best practices related to your specific project needs
Formatting Tips for Successful Translation
- Leave lots of white space for text expansion.
- Avoid embedding text inside of graphics files.
- Avoid hard carriage returns and other habits that may make it difficult to “prep” your file for translation.
- Connect us with your in house technical experts to resolve file format issues for translation of software, web sites and CAD files.
- Request translated files formatted using your original source files (e.g. Illustrator, InDesign) so that you receive them back ready for immediate use.
Vendor Selection Tips for Successful Translation
- Compare the total service solution, not commodity pricing.
- Understand the quality control process your translation services provider employs.
- Avoid apples to oranges comparisons when evaluating vendors and proposals.
- Develop a working relationship with your selected provider. This will pay dividends in terms of consistency, turnaround time and special favors when you need them.
- Free translations from the internet are worth every penny you pay!
- Your distributor may not share your objectives regarding your global brand reputation or corporate liability. Relying on them for translation is risky.
- Bilingual employees are not necessarily qualified to translate and rarely have the tools to manage large scale projects. Language fluency is just one qualification for professional translation.
- Do not assume that your content is too technical to be translated by an outside firm.
- Educate yourself on translator credentials and best practices for working with your provider.
- Choose a vendor with demonstrated expertise in industries similar to yours.
Project Execution Tips for Successful Translation
- Allow sufficient time for project completion.
- Group projects together to avoid “minimum” project fees.
- Provide reference material and/or glossaries of key industry terms.
- Provide FINAL content only for translation.
- Provide your source files, complete with graphics.
- Communicate any feedback to your translation provider
- Track changes on future revisions of your English files to save money on updates to your translations.
- Ask your vendor for input to streamline future projects.
Contact International Language Services, Inc. to discuss your translation needs. Check out our white papers and guides for more great information to ensure that your projects go smoothly.