Demand on Translation & Localization

The demand on translation and localization services has been witnessing a rising turn that has never been experienced before. A report from USA Today pointed that interpretation and translation are the fifth fastest-growing occupation in the United states with a Pct. change in employment 2012 – 2022 amounting to 46.7%. Although, the number of interpreters and translators employed in 2012 was 28,900, it is expected to reach 42,400 in 2022. While the industry is rapidly expanding, compensation continues to be wide-ranging, depending on the interpreter or translator’s experience, skills, credentials, and qualifications. The difficulty lies in the clients’ inability to differentiate between interpreters and translators and their attempt to hire the cheapest contractor, regardless of the supporting credentials or qualifications of the selected candidate.

Here are five steps a translation buyer should undertake before ordering the translation of a document to guarantee receiving a professional translated file.

Well-prepared Source Documents & Copies

Before attempting to send any documents, brochures or collateral material to your translation provider, make sure your source document or original copy is well written, proofread, edited and is free from errors and ambiguity. On the one hand, this saves translators a lot of time consumed in understanding the document, and guarantees grasping its meaning and minute details instantly, which ultimately leads to delivering the translated file on time. On the other hand, this saves the translation buyer a lot of time as well replying to translators’ queries about ambiguity and issues with style, tone, and structure. It’s no secret also that a well-prepared document results into a high-quality translated file. Therefore, the more time you spend on creating an easy, well written document, the more you guarantee receiving a professional translated file.

Check Credentials and Translation Process

Whether you’re approaching a professional translator or a translation agency, check their credentials and their translation process, keeping in mind that the latter should include 2 proofreading rounds by 2 translators and one editing round by a senior linguist.

When finally preparing your document, you should decide whether to work with a translator or a translation agency. Your choice in this matter can be a lot easier after checking this article. It gives a detailed comparison between working with professional translators, translation agencies and online translation businesses. Then, you can decide which of these three options to choose from what is better for your business. The choice is not about who is really better, but rather who is more suitable for your business, goals, and potentials.

Once you’ve decided what type of translation provider to work with, be very meticulous in your choice. If you decide to work with a translator, an online translation team, or a translation agency, check their online profile to know all about their credentials, qualifications, and speciality. Ascertain that their credentials are from an authentic translation body, their experience is proven, and that they have a reasonable record in translating in your niche. It is also advisable to check their online profile to know their skills and use of CAT tools (check our article on CAT tools to have a better understanding of its concept). You might also like to review samples of their translation or send them a sample for translation free of charge to make sure of the quality of their translation. And finally, you might consult some of their references to know more about their quality of work. skills, competence, use of modern technology in their work. In brief, you must check their online reputation. All the required information can be found in their “About” page or their LinkedIn Profile.

After ascertaining their degree of professionality, it’s now time to check their work procedures in handling the variety of offered services. Having two eyes is always better than one. And so is the case with translation as well. It is always a good practice to have projects reviewed by more than one translator or linguist to eliminate the possibilities of any errors. 

For transcreation, for example, after the original translator translates, edits, and proofreads the file, another senior translator should proofread the translated file, and finally it should be edited by a senior linguist. In the case of localization, all said procedures take place in addition to another testing procedure, where the website, software or localized product is checked to make sure that it fits the taste and culture of the targeted locales.

Overview & Reference Materials

Whether you’re approaching your translation provider for a technical translation, a marketing transcreation, or a culturally adapted localization, preparing a comprehensive overview about the source file, a good reference material is very helpful for your translators to render the intended meaning, assume the right tone, and address the targeted audience in a language that resonates with them. It is always advisable to provide your translation provider with a detailed brief about your project, target audience and their demographics, together with illustrations, images, captions and reference material, if available.

Terminology and Glossary

All language solutions revolve around two main aspects; simple or complex words and phrases joined together to portray a certain meaning and entice a desired call to action and the structure and tone used to achieve this call to action.

If you have your own terminology or glossary, you are already half way through. Nothing remains except making use of said glossary by sending it to your translation provider. However, if you don’t already have one, you may request your translation provider to prepare a list of all technical terminology or desired glossary for your approval. A unified terminology is crucial in preserving consistency and coherence throughout the whole file, as well as defining your style, tone and goal.

Therefore, setting a kick-off meeting to discuss all aspects of the project would be a good step to materialize everything and form a clear concept of the project and its goals.

Reasonable Delivery Time

The kick-off meeting would also be a good opportunity to define your schedule and give a reasonable timeline for the completion of your job. Always keep in mind that translating a document, localizing a website, software, app or creating brochures or any other marketing collateral takes as long as the time consumed in writing the original document or said material and that rush translation jobs usually incur higher charges and many disappointments.

These were the most important steps that we believe would guarantee success in large size translation projects. However, for short or quick translation orders, the “About” page or online profile would serve the purpose and give translation buyers a detailed overview about their selected translation provider and enables them to make sure whether or not they were knocking the right door.

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