Globalization has necessitated translation from and to most languages of the world. A complex process, owning to differences in grammar and construction rules in world languages, translation entails a careful selection of translator and reviewer services.
Since you can’t evaluate the quality of a translated document, you can make sure that:
1. The document you are giving for translation is of the best quality possible.
2. The service you are hiring meets your quality requirements.
Before handing off:
1. Run the spell check and grammar check: A basic but a completely necessary step. Remember, if your document is error free, there will be fewer translation errors to deal with!
2. Keep a copy of the document with you: This might seem like a silly suggestion but a surprisingly large number of people forget to do so!
3. In your document: Keep the sentences short and simple and avoid using abbreviations (Say ‘can not’ instead of can’t).
Choosing the translator:
1. Cheap is not best. Your neighbor’s kid who took French paper last year might be able to flaunt his French connection but translation is a professional calling. Paying less might turn out to be very expensive for you.
2. Choose a service provider who has many years of experience in translating into language you are seeking.
3. The translator should be a native speaker of the language and must be conversant with the culture and language of the language he/she is attempting to translate from.
4. The translator should also be able to understand the finer nuances of the language he/she is translating from.
5. Choose a translation company that offers to take the complete project – from translation to editing, proofreading and even desktop publishing.
After handing over…
Handing over the document doesn’t ensure good translation. Your inputs will be required even after handing over. Time invested here will reap benefits in terms of error free documents of great quality.
1. Make sure you have a detailed discussion about your project with the service provider to explain your requirements and to understand his/her concerns.
2. Be available to answer concerns and queries whenever the translator requires you.
Some more things…
1. Never force the translator to do a rushed job. Plan your project well and build in time for reviews and translations properly.
2. Select a good reviewer with the help of your translator.
3. Don’t submit a half finished document. Translating corrections and additions can be expensive and may introduce errors.
4. Never try to piece together bits of translated material yourself.
Ensuring the quality of translated material is as much your responsibility as that of your translator. You can ensure quality by also insisting proofreading and making sure that the numbers, dates and figures are correct.
You also need to share supporting documents like references and glossaries with your translator to enable him/her to do a better job. Most of all, you must set realistic turn around time for your translators.
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