A Quick Start Guide to Stellar Translation

Category: Translation Services

Alexander Graham Bell famously posited that “before anything else, preparation is the key to success”, and we couldn’t agree more. If you are new to translation, however, you may be stumped as to how to get started. Our 2nd edition 2013 newsletter article highlights five ways to make your translated content shine. Here are the top three:

Provide good context on your company and its services

The more your translation team knows about you, the better their language will be aligned to the specifics of who are you and what you do. Often, translators have expertise in certain domains, like legal, marketing, or medical content. Your translation agency can help choose a team of linguists that can act as subject-matter experts for your company in the countries and regions where you wish to expand. When we worked with Opus One winery, for example, we took great care to ensure that the nuances of the brand were faithfully presented in each country.

Prepare reference material

You may know your company’s voice and terminology inside and out, but how do you make sure your translation team echoes it properly? The best way is to develop a glossary and a style guide, and have it reviewed and approved internally before sending it out to be used as reference. A glossary will help ensure that terminology and vocabulary is consistent throughout all translated materials, and a style guide goes into preferences for things like tone, spelling, and punctuation. The volunteer translators who work on TED talks, for example, are asked to follow this style guide to ensure good work. If you are preparing for multilingual voiceover, don’t forget a pronunciation guide so that names and acronyms are pronounced correctly and consistently across all languages.

Appoint an in-country review team

While good reference material can go a long way, you will want to make sure that your in-country offices or partners approve of the translations you are providing before they are launched in market…after all, they will likely be the ones using them in their day-to-day work. It’s a good idea to even get them involved at the reference material creation stage, so that their preferences can be included from the very beginning. Also, make sure they will have adequate time to go through the materials and route back any questions or edits for inclusion before the launch deadline. We have some tips on this too, in our Top Five Tips for Managing In-Country Linguistic Review.

Want to find out the final two criteria? They are available in our newsletter article.