Document translation is one of the most popular services we offer, so it’s hardly surprising that we’ve picked up a few hints and tips we can give you along the way. When our clients send documents to us for translation, they almost always want them back as quickly as possible, and of course they want the work completed to our usual exacting standards and priced as competitively as possible.
We’re certainly not believers in cheap translation – you get what you pay for in this industry – but there are steps our clients can take to increase the speed and reduce the cost of their document translation projects.
So, what can you do to make our job as easy as possible and subsequently make your quote as low as it can be?
1. Keep the language simple
We appreciate that it’s not always possible to simplify the language you use, particularly if there are lots of industry-specific technical terms involved. However, if you’re creating a document that’s going to be translated then it does pay to keep the sentence structure simple, remove jargon and colloquialisms and even keep humour to a minimum (unfortunately, jokes rarely translate well).
This will not be possible for every document. For example, your marketing communications may rely on intricate wordplay and legal documents will always be technical. That’s not a problem, as we have specialist translators for that. However, if you can keep it simple, do.
2. Use a design that’s easy to adapt
Making translated documents look just as good as the original is exactly what we do. However, the more complex the original design of the document, the more time it’s likely to take for us to get it right. That’s because the amount of text will expand or contract on translation, while some languages such as Japanese and Korean tend to require more vertical than horizontal space. Then there are the languages that read right to left.
If speed is of the essence or you’re on a budget, having an uncomplicated, clean layout to start with will help us get the finished article back to you quickly and for less.
3. Be consistent with your terminology
We understand that sometimes industry-specific terminology or technical words and phrases have to be used. In that case, we work with our regular clients to create terminology databases, which act as a centralised glossary of the company-specific, industry-specific or technical terms you use. This serves as a guide to our translation and transcreation team on how to manage this type of terminology.
Importantly, for terminology databases to work, it’s essential you are consistent with the wording you use. Understanding exactly how to handle these terms will increase the efficiency and speed of the translation and help to keep the cost down.
4. Create a style guide
Many of the larger organisations we work with have a style guide, but that’s not true of all of our translation clients. A style guide can be a relatively simple document that sets out how your brand looks and sounds across visual media. It should reference things like tone, vocabulary, grammar, word usage and point of view. That might sound like a lot of work, but it will ensure consistency across your communications, no matter who produces them.
It will also be extremely useful for our document translators, providing a source of reference they can use to create documents that speak your business’s language. There will be less guesswork and faster translation times, which is all good news for you!
5. Choose the right translation team
Undoubtedly, the most important tip of all is to choose the right translation team in the first place. That’s a team that has a reputation for quality work and excellent customer service and ideally has experience in your sector.
At Linguistica International, we work with leading names like Manchester United, Santander and Orange as well as a diverse range of SMEs. Take a look at our translation services and call 02392 987 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with our team.