Wednesday 14 November 2012

New to Translation? Here are some tips to help you in your first multi-language venture…..

The business of translation can be a little daunting at first glance but a good translation agency should assist you through the process from start to finish.  If you have not used a professional translation service before then please see below for our guide to getting it right.


If you are working to a deadline then let the agency know in advance.  As a rough guide, you can expect a translator to carry out between 1,500 – 2,500 words per day, dependant on the complexity of the subject and source file format. 

File Formats:

Agencies can translate from a variety of source file formats and generally provide your completed translations in Word / Excel or PDF files as standard.  If you are able to provide your source document as a Word or Excel file the translator can overtype the document to retain the original layout features.  If you only have a non-editable version of the source document available, such as PDF, but require design work to make the translated version look as close to the original as possible, then ask your agency for details of their typesetting services as well.
Apart from choosing the right agency to carry out your work, there are also some simple steps you can take as well to ensure that  the end product fully meets your expectations:

Reference material:  Any previous translations, website links, or glossaries can help the translator to contextualise your project and use specific terminology to ensure consistency. 

Publication = Proofreading:

If your translation is going to be published, whether it is a website, marketing brochure or a technical manual, it is essential to ensure that an in house colleague speaking the translated  language looks over the translation prior to publication.  A good translator will carry out extensive research and proofread their translations thoroughly before finalisation to ensure accuracy.  They will follow any glossaries or reference materials provided to reflect your corporate terminology and style.  However, they do not have the benefit, or freedom, of insider knowledge to ‘tweak’ a few phrases for the specific target market, or to emphasise your brand image and style.  A final proofread within your company ensures that not only is the translation accurate, but it perfectly reflects your company’s ethos and values.

Automatic = Problematic.... 

When you have gone to the trouble of securing a professional, expert translation service, don’t be tempted to cut corners and use machine translation for those odd bits and pieces that were forgotten or added on at the last minute.  Even if it is just a few words, it can be almost guaranteed that the serious errors of meaning that can occur from the use of these tools will be the first thing that your client sees.
At first glance, machine translation can seem like an inexpensive option for your translation needs, but it can end up costing you your clients and even your reputation!  It is useful to an extent, if you quickly need to get the gist of correspondence or information written in another language.  But only a human, experienced and professional translator can give you peace of mind that you are not instructing your client to click on the ‘hammer’ menu when you want them to click on ‘tools’, or ‘propose to first gear’, instead of ‘engaging first gear’!

And finally....
We hope that you will choose ApLingo for your translation projects and find our expert translation service friendly, efficient and intuitive.  We like to go the extra mile for our customers and if you have any queries at all, before, during or after your translation project we will be more than happy to assist you.  Please don’t be afraid to ask us any question at all, even if you think it might be ‘stupid’, it more than likely is not! 

Email:  Telephone: 0800 389 6571

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