A professional translator is a highly-qualified individual who can take your text or document and brings it into the desired target language without the audience noticing the translation.
But translators can’t work miracles.
As a buyer of translation services, there are many ways you can help your language service provider. Furthermore (and this is very important), the clearer and more concise your document is, the more favorable your project will be.
That’s the key! A project that takes less time to translate will result in a lower rate for the client.
That’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? So, we’ve written this article to better explain how to prepare content for translation.
Planning Saves Time and Money
Don’t just write something and send it off for instant publication. Revise it carefully and get it proofread.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind, from the simplicity of your sentences to the delivery of glossaries and translation memories. All of this will help you save time and money.
Before sending the document, take a good look at this list and make any necessary changes.
Your Checklist for Preparing Content
We suggest going step-by-step, in this order. Here we go!
- Are your sentences and (consequently) your paragraphs very lengthy? If so, grab the scissors and start trimming. Do your best to keep it short and sweet. Your readers will thank you.
- Do some of the words you use have multiple meanings? Replace them with more precise options to avoid issues during the translation process. In some fields, like medicine and industry, a misused word could have nasty consequences.
- Did you use synonyms to avoid repeating words? Be careful—we all try to avoid repeating ourselves when we write, but if we’re dealing with a technical term or a word that is fundamental to understanding the document, it’s better to be consistent and always use the same term.
- Did you use a common acronym? Don’t take it for granted! Write out abbreviations and acronyms whenever possible.
- Did you use informal language? That may not be the best idea, especially if you’re using regional slang. Think about your target audience—they may not understand certain expressions that are only used in your country or city.
- Did you use the passive voice? You might want to reconsider. It could confuse the reader (or the translator) and make otherwise simple ideas overly complicated. Use the active voice: make sure that the subject of the sentence is the one doing the action.
- What about dates? The translator isn’t a psychic, so use universally recognized date formats, or write out the month, rather than using a number.
- Did you comb through your glossaries and translation memories from past projects? Don’t forget to pass this along to the translator! It will speed up the project and have a positive impact on the budget.
You, your company, the translator, your readers: everybody comes out on top if your text follows these rules.
What’s more, the professional will be able to work with an organized, clear, easy-to-understand text.
If, on top of that, we account for the professional’s skills and experience bringing texts from one language to the other without leaving a trace, you can rest easy, trusting in the quality of the final product.
Are you about to send a document? Not so fast. First, check the list and take another look at your text.
It’s the perfect starting point for an organized and well-planned work process.