A competent translator extensively uses inferential strategies in the process of understanding a source text in translation. It also appears that extralinguistic knowledge plays an important role in this inference. Let’s talk about 5 steps of a successful translation.
1. Provide Enough Time
Time is everything, and whether you are tackling document translation, patent translation, medical translation, or website localization, it is important to give yourself enough time to perfect it. You want to make sure that the translator or translation company has enough time to research the subject content thoroughly, prepare the translation, and revise and proofread until the final draft is perfect.
Collaboration is key, the more time you have with your translator the more likely you’ll be on the same page. Effective teamwork and communication are one of the key factors for localization and successful translation.
Tip: If you know you will need a successful translation done and you want to reach out to a professional translation company, speak with them as soon as possible, so they can build a custom workflow for your project and find the ideal translator for your project.
2. Create a translation glossary and style guide.
A translation glossary and the style guide are helpful cheat sheets for linguists to better understand your company. A translation glossary includes the companies “lingo”, words that should stay consistent throughout, and words better not to translate such as product names. A style guide describes how a company should present visually and textually their materials and the overall style and tone of the company. It identifies those branding elements that must remain, no matter the locale. Providing both a translation glossary and style guide to the linguists can help ensure consistency. Without this, there are multiple ways how to translate words and phrases can across different languages meaning more time spent revising translations to create consistency. A Glossary and style guide can not only help with consistency, but it can also reduce the time to complete each document translation and cut costs.
3. Don’t use Multiple Linguists
You might think using many linguists for large projects will speed up the process, but it could have a negative impact on the overall quality and cohesion of the project. Why is that? The more linguists involved, the more prone you’ll be to inconsistencies in the translation. Beyond the specific style and tone of each linguist, many words have multiple translations that could fit in a target language and consistency is key when delivering a message and building a brand. This is especially true if you want to keep with a specific and notable brand image or content style used in the past. The same also applies to your proofreader–give one person enough time as opposed to forcing the issue with multiple people.
The caveat to this idea is getting a fresh set of eyes on a longer project. Once you’ve completed a translation, give one person with fresh eyes the chance to look it over and check for mistakes.
4. Provide as much detail as possible.
The more information you can provide to your translator or translation company, the better. Besides including more details in the translation, it gives the translation service a more accurate ability to choose a translator that has the expertise in that specific field.
5. Translation memory tools.
What is translation memory? Actually, it’s a simple concept: a translation memory stores translations, and then recalls them later to use again. It remembers both the original text and the corresponding translation, thus allowing your translation and localization agency to match up existing translations to new content that is identical or similar to content translated in the past.
Translation memory tools can store segments, such as sentences, titles, headings, and phrases and create a database for future projects. This helps save time and money for any updates necessary to a project, or for translating any new content. It enforces consistency throughout all versions of any projects and also cuts time because the linguists don’t have to spend time re-translating the same thing time and time again.
A successful translation is a key part of bringing your product or service to a new market, and a poorly executed translation can cost you business. By following the above tips, you can do successful translation, lower costs and help make your entry into new markets an easier process.
There are multiple ways to make the translation procedure enjoyable for both parties. We recommend considering these ideas:
- Start at a high level, no matter the project size. Understanding a project’s big picture means a translator can adapt his translation workflow to meet every client’s individual needs and expectations.
- Hold a kickoff meeting. Getting all stakeholders in the same place (in person or online) makes it easier to get everyone on the same page before any translation or localization even starts.
- Analyze all source content and language assets. Catching an error here ensures it won’t proliferate across your translated material. Experienced translation partners will also leverage existing translation memories to lower your costs and maintain coherent terminology.
- Pick the right team. In-country linguists with expertise are essential for your translation success.
- Execute your translation project. With workflow and team members in place, it’s time to start work on your content.
- Review and client approval. Independent client review ensures your content fits your needs and your market. The project is only complete after client approval.
- Maintain assets. Being able to view and update these assets means your subsequent translations will often take less time.