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6 Tips to improve Quality in your Translation Project

translation service quality

Last updated on December 17th, 2018 at 06:00 pm

6 Tips to improve Quality in your Translation Project

checklist for high quality translations
You may be familiar with the cost/time/quality trade-off triangle. If not, the essence of this concept is that with any given project, you can optimize one or two of the sides of the triangle, but must sacrifice the other(s). Fast and cheap leads to poor quality, high quality and fast will not be cheap, etc.  Translation projects are no exception to this rule.

Like building a house, constructing high quality translation services will cost both time and money. How can you be assured that you are receiving the highest quality translation for your money?

The Power of an Experienced Translation Company

The key to maximizing the cost effectiveness of a translation project is to utilize the right combination of resources and efficient timing of work processes to achieve the client’s requirements. An experienced translation company can coordinate the right timing, follow the appropriate workflow and provide an experienced team.  Additionally an experienced translation company will make suggestions regarding the usage of a particular technology or methodology. For example if a project is a good candidate for machine translation, of if a different type of file or format might benefit the translation project in clarity or speed.

Here are 6 tips, to help you achieve the best mix of the trio in a multilingual project.

1. Plan aheadcomplete source material for translations

Do not rush the creation of your content, and do not rush its translation. The creation of good content takes time and effort, as does translation of the content. They are creative processes that deserve both yours and your translator’s careful attention.

Be sure to plan ahead and give your team enough time to produce great content, whether it’s for your website, marketing brochure or manual. If you provide complete and well written source material, the translation process will move faster, with fewer interruptions for questions and clarifications.

Disruptions and pauses for lack of clarity in the source content affect the timing and quality of the translation workflow!

On the other hand, the translation process takes time, file preparation, understanding of the content and reference material, on top of the translation itself and the revision of the translation against the source file. Your translation company should be using CAT tools, translation environments where the translation and revision takes place, to aid the translation and review processes.

Planning goes a long way in providing a translation company sufficient time to prepare and reserve the preferred translation team.

 

2. Fine tune your English Content

You must strive for quality content. The content to be translated is the raw material for the translation project. Source material must be clear, well written, and grammatically correct. Be sure to send only your final content for translation. Do not change the content once the translation starts, as it will interrupt the translation process and result re-work delays that may affect the quality of the translation.

 

3. We are going global!

Where? What Languages? What is your goal? Why are you translating your content?

translation for international marketsWe need information to help you! Instruct your content creator, designers and webmaster if you are going to international markets. When going global, you’ll need to take into consideration other elements:

  • How many target languages will your content be in? Should the translations in all languages take place at the same time or in stages?
  • Your target market and/or country: Spain or Mexico? French for Canada or French for France, remember you need to localize or globalize your content.
  • Total or partial translation?
  • What time frame do we have for translation and localization?
  • Expansion of the content- A page or webpage translated into Spanish requires 20% more space than English. The same applies to French and German Languages.
  • Different font types- A document translated into Arabic will require a different font to render well, for example font type: Simplified Arabic. The same is true for Chinese Translations.
  • Be sensitive to double meanings and cultural connotations. Double meanings do not translate well. Cultural connotations vary from country to country and language to language.
  • Be mindful of the use of color and images.
  • In the case of website translation, do you have a CMS? Does the CMS have multilingual capabilities?
  • Plan for maintenance and synchronization of the translated pieces with the originals

 

4.  Be specific about target Audience and usage of your translation

This information will give valuable insight to the translation company to understand how the translation is going to be used and who is going to use it.

Example: We created a brochure in InDesign to be used as marketing material for teachers in Mexico about software to teach science to 3rd grade children.

Details about the content and its usage are used to select the best team for the project and the characteristic and vocabulary of the translated product. A translator that is appropriate for marketing content is a different resource from a technical translation or legal translation; even if all are German Translators.

 

5.  Provide Reference material

If you have reference material available, either from previous translations or material in the target language, it can be a valuable asset for the linguists involved in the project. A reference material such as websites or term glossaries, will aid the translation team in their research, selection of vocabulary and style of writing preferred by your company.

 

6.  Clearly indicate your deadline and requirements

This will help define the project in line with your requirements and ensure timely delivery of the translation by your deadline.  Different requirements need to be considered and worked into the project’s workflow and might require extra time; especially in the case of special projects with special file formats.

Examples:

  • The client needs special formatting, which includes the presentation of spanish translation text and source English text in dual columns in the same page, side by side.
  • The expansion of text resulting from the translation causes problems in the display of new content.  In this case, it may be necessary to change font size and re-design the webpage.
  • The Content Management System where the website resides doesn’t have an easy way to extract the stored content. There are options to solve it, and advanced solutions for multilingual websites to accommodate special requirements, but they are best discussed at the planning phase of any project.

Translation is a creative process. It is an art that requires skills and research to achieve quality, precision and content that is appropriate and sensitive to the target audience. And yes- it has to be given to the client on time! Work with a translation company that is experienced, and has a team of resources flexible and knowledgeable to respond to any problems that might arise in the middle of a project.

 

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.