Many factors result in a successful, quality translation project and one of the most important factors is the preparation and information gathering by the client, before providing source content to their language service provider.
Before the translation process can even begin, it is vital that the customer adequately prepares the translation project request. Your language service provider (LSP) will need detailed instructions to produce an accurate translation.
Wondering where to begin? Just follow these 5 simple steps to prepare content for translation!
1. Define Your Audience
Determine your language combination. When appropriate, be sure to target a particular region or country to ensure appropriate use of language based on the target region and culture. For example, choose English (UK) to Spanish (SP), rather than simply English to Spanish.
Are your readers young or old? Industry experts or the general public? Local or international? With a clear target audience in mind, the translation team will be equipped with that knowledge when localizing the content for that target audience.
Consider the subject matter and target audience. Legal, medical and technical translations usually require a serious, formal tone and in some cases, use of the passive voice. In contrast, marketing content allows more freedom in diction and tone, including the use of an active voice to feel natural.
2. Set Publishing Requirements
How will your translated project be distributed? For example, a website translation project will require clear communication with the Language Service Provider on project scope. ie. meta data, SEO, graphics localization and content distribution. Some companies may have cloned versions of their website that are hosted in their new target countries, others may opt for a language navigation menu within one content management system. Dynamic Language can work directly within your Content Management System and upload translated content or be provided source code that is translated and returned in the same format.
It is important to set these publishing requirements before beginning the project to avoid overruns on project deadlines, budget and scope.
3. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Check for linguistic and cultural errors, as well as punctuation, and capitalization. Then, check for layout consistency of bold or italicized words, date/time and number formatting.
4. Create a terminology glossary and style guide
A terminology glossary and style guide will boost translation speed and ensure preferred terminology, and consistent tone/voice throughout this and all future translation projects. Learn about the benefits of a terminology glossary and style guide.
A terminology glossary should include definitions, explanations and sample sentences for the following:
- Brand names and slogans
- Industry-specific jargon
- Tone: formal or informal
- Voice of the document: active or passive
- Preferences regarding punctuation and capitalization
5. Communicate any hard deadlines
The turn-around time for your translation project will depend on factors such as translator and editor availability, language combination, and word count. Other possible factors to consider are difficult terminology and the requirements of a niche industry or highly-targeted audience. However, if you have a particular deadline, that information should be relayed to ensure adequate resources are available.
Use your plan above to provide clear instructions to your LSP. Review content for any idioms, expressions and cultural references that may require localization or even transcreation. Taking the time to prepare a quality translation project will improve the quality of translation and speed of delivery.