Translators will Translate Language …

They are professionals and they know how to translate languages; however, a translation buyer should keep an eye on the translation process to avoid pitfalls. As unbelievable as it may sound, there is no guarantee that you will receive a quality translation even if you contact a reputable translation company with rigorous quality control procedures. Unless you participate in the process, you are not protected from the risk of substandard translation. Get involved and you will have a fair chance to get the translation you need.

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How to get involved?

  • Plan ahead: Include translation in the production cycle. Usually, translation is made in closing stages of the production cycle upon development of other product aspects. Completion of each aspect takes time, so does translation. Plan to give your translator as much time as necessary to do the translation.

  • Write for translation: The task of translators is to translate languages professionally. And your task is to write a “translation-friendly” text. So write in a neutral tone. Avoid nonce words/neologisms, figurative language, idiomatic expressions, colloquial language, culture-specific clichés, and information specific to your country that needs adaptation for other countries. The text should be inoffensive to markets abroad. Explain abbreviations and acronyms that you use (spell out the full term and indicate the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses; e.g. technical translation (TT)).

  • Finalize your text: Give a final version to your translator to avoid double work in the future. In the end, translating draft versions takes more time and effort, and money. And there is a risk that the resulting final version will have translation errors.

  • Define translation parameters up front. Provide them to your translator.

  • Prepare reference materials: glossaries, instructions, product samples, drawings, background documents, previous translations, etc. If your text contains proper names or addresses of your counterparts in other countries (e.g. names of your Russian colleagues or addresses of your subsidiary in Ukraine) and you have these in their original language (Russian or Ukrainian in our example), provide them to your translator as well. If the text contains product names or specific terms that do not need translation, tell your translator about that.

  • Appoint a contact person: Your translator may have questions regarding your document. Appoint a qualified contact person to answer these questions and discuss matters relevant to the translation process. Effective communication with your translator will allow avoiding pitfalls along the way.

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_____________________________________________________________________ Website owner: Irina Lychak, self-employed freelance linguist, Russian translator, Ukrainian translator, Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine

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