Rightly or wrongly, these days translation is seen as something of a commodity. While it may be true in terms of its commercial value – the same cannot be said for its production!
With this in mind, it is extremely important that projects (translation or voiceover) are not prematurely sent into production without first assessing pre-project processes and availability of translation assets. Thoroughness during the initial setup stages greatly reduces the level of risk, and in most cases leads to enhanced translation quality.
Involvement and cooperation of key stakeholders is the key to success.
Here’s a few tips to keep you onside with your clientele:
Client Reviewer / Translator Alignment
The foundation of the project – client ICR/ vendor relations are a key factor in maintaining project harmony. Align the ICR expectations with your translation team early on in the initial stages of a new account via pre-project calls, encourage their involvement in the glossary, style guide development phase and during a translation sample review period, and the project has a much greater chance of going smoothly, especially for notoriously subjective languages. While it is appreciated that this action is not always practical, ICR/ Translator team calls are a highly recommended step wherever possible, at the beginning of any new account or when adding a new language to an existing account.
Topics to be discussed during an ICR/ Translator meeting:
Target audience and expectations
Translation sample requirements
Terminology Glossaries help to enforce consistency and accuracy when translating technical, industry and company-specific terms. When translators work with a glossary-enabled CAT tool, the integrated glossary functionality will automatically suggest (or enforce) a particular translation. Variants of verb forms and plurals are automatically propagated if the root word is in the database.
Complementing terminology glossaries, style guides assist in maintaining consistency of style, tone of voice, phrasing, usage, and more and reduce the chance of preferential issues occurring during translation.
Elements that should be contained in a style guide are as follows:
Corporate brand identity
Tone of voice
Translation of key terms
Verbs, adjectives and superlatives (likes and dislikes)
Other miscellaneous elements
Reference materials are a key component of any translation project. In addition to demonstrating translation style, they give the additional benefit of providing the linguistic teams with a greater understanding and context of the content that they are localizing.
Some of the benefits of providing reference materials:
Types of reference materials:
Websites, portals and microsites
Previously translated materials in the same domain
Other associated documents
Provision of sample translation (approximately 10%) early on in the project enables style and translation quality to be gauged before moving into the main portion of the project. This is particularly helpful in large projects, but also smaller marketing projects in addition to projects that will be translated into highly subjective languages. Provision of a sample translation phase is also highly recommended for new accounts, and when adding new languages to existing accounts.
Some of the benefits of providing an early translation sample:
Confirmation that style guide is followed
Provides a snapshot of terminology glossary adherence
Reduces the chances of having to make extensive changes at the end of the project
This, coupled with the high levels of expectations from global clients, means localization agencies need to plan carefully. In order to avoid these pitfalls, follow our top tips for smooth localization.