by Anna Matviienko
Almost all translation requests have one thing in common: the translation should be completed quickly. It is therefore important to clarify as many of the basic requirements as possible in advance so that the translation itself can be performed smoothly.
Based on our many years of experience, we have created a checklist that we would like to present to you in more detail in this article. Using the checklist, most of the questions that could arise when preparing a translation order can be clarified in advance, allowing us to start the translation quickly.This saves time and frequently also helps to minimise costs.
☐ Specify the order
Your translation request should include at least the following Information:
Feel free to also inform us about any special features of your source texts. Do the texts contain elements that may lead to questions during processing that should be clarified in advance? Here are a few examples:
☐ Editable file format
Frequently, we receive PDF files from our customers. However, this is a reading format with the aim of retaining the original layout of the source tests. It is not intended for content editing, and therefore only of limited suitability for Translation. Nowadays, translations are usually not entered in a new document but completed by editing the source document using a translation tool, which means the files to be translated must inevitably be edited.
Exports of PDF files are often imprecise and contain errors. For instance, text from footnotes may appear directly in the main document text and some letters are recognised incorrectly or not at all. As a result, it is not possible to create an accurate quotation for the translation if not all the text is recorded in the translation tool.
This is why our project managers immediately inquire whether the files are also available in an editable Format.
The advantages are clear:
☐ Quality of the source texts
If texts have been written by non-native speakers, editing by a native speaker may be recommended before starting the translation in order to improve the translation Quality. A positive side effect is that you can then also use your source texts in the source language without any concerns. This service is also part of our service Portfolio. For further information, visit exact! Services.
The more extensive or specialist a text to be translated is, the more precise your specifications should be. Our check list therefore also includes questions relating to additional materials that you should, if possible, provide us with together with the source text:
Perhaps you have word lists or glossaries that you could make available to us. This allows us to attune to your internal vocabulary from the start.
☐ Style guides
Style guides help the translator strike the right stylistic note for your Company. Frequently, they also provide information on form-related preferences such as separators for thousands, currency information, the use of units of measure, etc. So if you have a style guide for the target language in question, please feel free to send it to us.
☐ Reference texts and previous versions
Reference texts and any available previous versions can provide valuable clues for translators when it comes to terminology and style. Moreover, these often also contain background information that improves comprehension of the text.
☐ Additional information
The translator needs to know the target audience of a text in order to address them in an optimum way. The intended use is also important Information. Please tell us, for example, whether the translation will address your own employees or is to be published on your website for communication to the general public.
☐ Translation or transcreation
Is the source text intended for advertising purposes? Then it needs to use particularly expressive language and be adapted to the cultural situation of the target-language Country. Here, we refer to “transcreation” rather than Translation. In such cases, an advance briefing is required. We are happy to clarify everything else in a personal discussion with you. Read our blog post on this subject at Transcreation.
So you can see that, as the party ordering a translation, you can have a major impact on the key factors of quality, duration and cost that go towards producing a high quality Translation.
We hope that this check list has provided you with some helpful information to make our collaboration even more efficient in the future.
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