Translating a text might seem like a very simple matter at first glance. You might be wondering what’s so difficult about transforming ideas from one language into another when the translator is an expert at what they do. But some things are easier said than done, and speeding up the translation process doesn’t always rest on the translator’s shoulders. How can the client and the agency speed up the translation and make it easier?
What can the client do to make it easier for the agency to translate?
Provide a high-quality source text
There’s a direct correlation between the quality of a source text and the translation. Simply put: the better the source text, the better the translation. However, it’s not uncommon for the translator to return the text to the client with additional questions or suggestions for editing due to an ambiguously written sentence, often resulting in an extended delivery time.
It’s also helpful to send your documents in an editable format, such as .doc, .pdf, .xls, and so on. Various scans or images need to be converted into an editable format before content can be translated, which takes a considerable amount of time. You don’t have to worry about converting your documents into the same editable format. For instance, it can be a mix of .doc and .pdf documents, which the agency can easily work with.
Define your requirements clearly and in specific detail
Informing the agency of the specifics of the text will save you a lot of time and questions that you would otherwise have to answer. The translator needs to know the target audience of the content, the style and tone of the language, and the various language nuances related to the translation. One type of translation is for the general public while the other is for professionals. If you have your own internal terminology or jargon, provide the agency with a list so that the terms used by the translator in the final text will remain consistent. The more precise you are in describing your expectations and requirements, the faster you can expect to receive a completed translation.
At Translata, we use a creative brief for marketing and e-commerce translations, which not only shortens the time of delivery for your order but also protects against embarrassing translation fails.
Be available to address issues as needed
It’s always useful to have a designated person on your team that’s ready to respond to the agency’s urgent questions at any stage of the translation cycle. Quick problem solving will help the project continue running smoothly.
Divide up the deadline and deliver the translation in segments
Not only will your project be better organized, but these multiple deadlines will also enable you to provide the agency with valuable feedback and comments, which they can incorporate into future segments. An agreement on the price per word will save time before the project starts. The client doesn’t have to approve every request. They will only receive an invoice 1-2 times a month.
Take advantage of automated translation outsourcing
The ability to outsource translations automatically by uploading your text via a web application or by connecting to cloud services or databases will save you a tremendous amount of time and help simplify mutual communication.
For our clients, we’ve developed the Translata Portal, which enables automated translation outsourcing. This replaces lengthy e-mail communication and allows our clients to not only submit new translation projects and monitor their status but also to control orders and invoices.
What can a translation agency do to make a translation go faster?
Create translation memories and glossaries for clients
Creating translation memories for each individual client is a way to make a translator’s job easier, saving clients both time and costs. After translating a text, translation software allows you to save the source text and its translation as a pair. If the translator works with the client frequently, they can revisit the texts. The same applies to creating a glossary, especially for professional translations that require highly specific terminology.
Use CAT tools
These days, a translator can hardly imagine doing their job without the help of smart CAT tools. Thanks to the translation memories they generate, the process is partly automated. CAT tools can identify phrases or sentences in the client’s translation memory that have already been translated and automatically add them to the text, which greatly speeds up the process. The translator will check the quality of the translation and make changes if necessary so that the context of the translation makes sense.
Read about how translation memories helped us shorten our delivery time of intensive professional translations for Atlas Copco, s.r.o. (Desoutter Industrial Tools) while also helping save the client 50% on costs.
Dedicate a translation team for each client
A fixed team of translators dedicated to every client will not only ensure language consistency but also the translator’s involvement. Once they’ve mastered the needs of the client, even in the case of repeated assignments they’ll know exactly how to translate the texts and what to look out for. The whole team should have access to the same project information, translation memories, terminology, and the opportunity to communicate with each other.
Look for ways to make translation input more automated
We enjoy technology, and its advancement helps us improve translation management. We see the future in increasingly more automation, which means a constant challenge for us. For large e-commerce translation projects, our IT department has created its own automation tool in which the time savings are huge. The tool minimises effort on the client’s part by linking their website up to translation tools and removing the need for manual copying and clicking.
The potential to shift into higher gear
It should be borne in mind that mutual cooperation between the client and the translation agency as a team that’s based on open communication and reasonably set conditions is also important for the entire translation project to run smoothly. This is the only way to increase productivity and shorten delivery times.