Tips for Successful Translation Projects

Do You Need an Interpreter or a Translator?

If you need to translate a contract, a birth certificate, a brochure, instructions for use, a warning label or any other written document, you need a translator.

If you need to meet with someone to discuss a business deal, but they do not speak your language, or if you are organizing a seminar for attendees from all over the world, you need interpreters.

General Tips for the Translation Buyer

1. Top quality translation will add value to your bottom line.

Research and development, marketing, graphic design, packaging, etc. are all very important. However, if your company wants to sell its products and/or services abroad, a good translation can make all the difference. We can help you add that value by offering our expertise (project management, selection of translation teams, quality control, file conversions, layout, etc.).

2. Resist the temptation to take shortcuts.

Free online translations and cheap machine translations are very tempting, but they have a limited purpose. If you want to double-check a word or get the gist of a message, they may work. But we would not recommend using them as tools to translate your important messages to your clients in other parts of the world. Try to look at translation as an investment in your success abroad.

3. Try to avoid rush scenarios.

Rush jobs generally lead to inferior quality and higher costs. Translation can take just as much time as the development of original copy. This means that the more time you have for the translation process, the better the quality of the final translation.

4. Give yourself enough time to proofread.

Develop copy that is ready to be translated into other languages. If the English is poor, most likely the translation will reflect that as well. So before submitting any copy for translation, make sure it is well written and final. Fewer last-minute changes will make for a smoother translation process and increase the quality of the final translation.

5. Work around budget constraints.

It may be worth it to rewrite a condensed version of the text for translation or to create a summary of services/products. If parts of the document will not be used on the international market, omit them.

6. Cultural adaptation is a key element of any good translation.

Try to anticipate other cultural challenges, such as local customs, cultural sensibilities, and country-specific regulations. Our team can help you craft a message that reflects the intention of the original, yet appeals to the target audience.

7. Introduce yourself.

Share as much about your company, its history and its mission as possible with our team and provide reference material (documents, pictures, videos, websites, etc.). This will allow our linguists to create texts that sound as expert and authentic in the target language as in the original text.

8. Team approach.

Get involved in the translation process by exchanging ideas and information, helping build a glossary and reference library, and working with our team through every phase of the process. This partnership will help us maintain style, tone, and consistency and bring across your message in all translations.

9. Provide context.

Before starting any translation project, let our project managers know where and by whom the translation will be used, so that we can create translations that make sense in the target market and to the end consumer.

10. Quality control.

Many things can happen after we deliver translations to our clients. Fonts can get corrupted when web programmers convert the files, words can be deleted during layout in InDesign. No matter what, before you go live with internet content or before you print thousands of inserts for a cosmetics product, let TransLingua help you with final quality control.

What to do if you need a Translation Quote

If you have a translation project, the following is ideal to obtain a quote:
  1. Have all documents ready
  2. Prepare a list of target markets and languages
  3. Prepare a production schedule for translation, approval process and finalization of translations
  4. Submit documents, language list and ideal turnaround time to TransLingua via e-mail, ftp, courier, mail or in person.

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