What to do to get a high quality translation?

There are few things you can do to make the translation better.

The more, the better. The more information you provide, the better translation you get. Keep in mind the quality of the materials provided. Information is the key.

1. Tell me the purpose
2. Tell me the context
3. Provide reference documents and materials
4. Provide complete and final documents to translate
5. Provide legible and understandable documents
6. Provide digital easy-to-edit documents
7. Give clear instructions
8. Set the deadline
9. Have I received your email?
10. Plan in enough time
1. Tell me the purpose

What is the purpose of the document? Who is the target audience? Do you want to make the document public or is it aimed for private use only? If published, in what way?

The translator needs to know the purpose. The target audience is crucial – who will read the document? A regular person (a layperson) or a professional? Will your document become a user manual, website content, in-house regulation, advertisement, par of a video or a sticker? The translator will chose the correct style to target the audience.

2. Tell me the context

Are there any schemes, diagrams or charts in the document? Only a part of document needs to be translated?

The context is very important. Please, send the entire document and indicate the part to be translated. Any picture or chart you provide can help to understand the context. This way, any doubt can be avoided and you can be sure the sign “východ” leads you to the exit and not to the East :)

3. Provide reference documents and materials

A new data sheet for your database? Is the text you want to get translated a part of a book or catalouge?

Do you have an older data sheet, scheme, established terminology or other accompanying documents and materials? Provide them along with the text you want to get translated. Any additional information helps to improve the quality of translation. A consistent terminology plays an important role in product identity – and makes it easier on the end customer.

Clearly state what part should be translated and what is just the accompanying material.

4. Provide complete and final documents

Would you like to place an order, but the original document is not final? Think twice! And let me know, thers is always a solution…

Any additional change must be integrated into the translation. As we live in the 21st century, we do have CAT tools to help out. However, any additional changes will most probably make the translation more expensive, and more time-consuming. To get the best for the least (budget), make sure to send in the final and complete documents.

5. Provide legible and understandable documents

Is the document recopied, handwritten or does it contain any handwritten comments or corrections?

Such texts are hard to read. If we want to translate the text, we must understand the exact meaning of every word. Some handwritings may be difficult to read. And since the acuracy is important, we cannot guess – we have to ask. That will make the process longer and may lead to misunderstanings and frustrations.

There is always a possibility you simply do not have another option but to send a hard-to-read document. Don’t worry. Nothing is impossible, and together, we can make it work.

6. Provide digital easy-to-edit documents

The translator’s duty is to translate the document, not to edit the format. Anyway, if you send a digital, easy-to-edit document, it is easy to maintain the formatting and use consistent terminology, even if the document is longer than the week before Christmas.

Therefore, editable formats are preferred – .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .rtf, .txt …

If the document is hard-to-edit (e.g.: a passoword protected PDF, JPEG, JPG etc.), it is more difficult to prepare it for the pre-translation, which increases the price.

7. Give clear instructions

Any abbreviations in the original document? Does it contain terminology your company has already been using?

Please, give explicit instructions. What do the abbreviations mean? Would you like to have them translated, or would you prefer to keep the untranslated form?

Do you already have established names for your company’s departments in the target language? If so, what are they? Do not let your foreign clients get lost in the corridors looking for “Buffet”, if there is a huge sign for “Bistro” right above the door.

How do you call the „zumo de naranja“ you import form Spain? „An orange juice“ or „ an orange squeeze“?

Consistent terminology plays an important role in product identity – and that works for your benefit.

8. Set the deadline

Set the exact date and time when you need the translation to be delivered.

Please, consider your needs. Express translations are more expensive and limited in volume.

I always confirm the deadline or suggest a new one according to my actual workload.

9. Have I received your email?

When you send a filled contact form, you will receive a confirmation email – you will know your inquiry has reached its destination.

Afterwards, I send you a price quote for your translation.

If you send your inquiry to hello@fuera.eu, I confirm it as soon as I read it, and send you the price quote subsequently.

If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your spam folder. If you do not find it, feel free to call me.

10. Plan in enough time

Quality needs time.

Do not leave the translation for the last minute. Relevant terminology and reference documents must be checked, required information must be found, files must be prepared for translatino. No translation can be done at once – translator comes back to your text over and over. Moreover, before the final check can be done, both translator and the document need to “rest” for a while.

Stress is a negative factor that plays an important role in translation quality. Tight deadlines do not allow for a perfect translation.

 

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