There is a lot more to translation than meets the eye. Yes, the essence of the process is translating a piece of text from one language into another, but there is a lot more to consider than many people are aware.
There are lots of factors that need to be taken into account both before starting work, and during the translation process itself. Clarifying these points, and identifying any issues at the start helps to ensure a smooth translation process, and avoids delays while any difficulties are overcome.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, clients should be asked several key questions, including (but not limited to):
What is the purpose/end use of the translation?
File formats – what format do they need the translation back in?
Processing text post-translation – will it be added to a Content Management System, or typeset into a design ready for print? If so, are those responsible experienced in doing so?
Reference material – could include previous translations and any background information to guide the translators. Clients who take the time to provide such information reap the benefits by getting an accurate translation that reflects their company style and is immediately fit for purpose. Without background information, the translators are often working in the dark, and it can take longer to produce text that is ready to use or publish.
Is there an in-country manager who will be reviewing the text, or who can help with any terminology queries?
Is the author of the document available to answer any queries about its contents?
Having shelled out money, time, and other resources on getting a web translation done, it’s important to choose the right person to review it if this step is part of your process. An inexperienced or overzealous reviewer can change the meaning of the text entirely, or introduce errors if they are rushed or their written skills in that language are inadequate.
There’s a delicate balance that must be struck between the translator’s knowledge of their language, and the client reviewer’s knowledge of their company and products. So who is the best choice as a reviewer? (more…)
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