Translation quality is a hot topic, but what exactly is a quality translation? Many could say that it is a translation which can be read, is free of errors, and relays the message accurately. But, depending on your needs, true quality translation can be about more than just an accurate relaying of the facts.
A “quality translation” is open to some of the most subjective opinions you will encounter in this industry, but to us, a true quality translation speaks in your customers’ language, truly helps you to connect with your customers in a meaningful way, demonstrates that you are committed to serving them, and promotes your brand and ideology in an uninterrupted way.
We recently created a guide that covers the necessary steps to ensure that your translations are of the highest quality, as well as the importance of auditing your existing translations. This blog post will pull out three top tips from that guide. If you want to read more in-depth on this topic, you can read the full-length guide using the button below!
1. Check the quality and relevance of your source content
There are two essential elements to consider when you are submitting your source content for translation: its quality and its relevance.
It is essential that the source text you send off for translation is the final, signed-off version and that there are no errors or inconsistencies which could affect the overall translation you receive. A fresh look at the text before submitting it is beneficial, particularly ensuring it is factually correct and up to date with your company standards and expectations.
Beyond ensuring that your content is accurate, you also need to consider if it is relevant. Remember that no matter the quality of a translation, it is relaying the facts and the message of the source for your target audience. You should consider if anything needs to be addressed to localise your content, such as changing references to local offices or landmarks, or localising measurements or costs.
2. Provide supporting material for your translation project
No matter how professional the translation company may be, nobody knows your company better than you and your team. Discuss with your team your terminology, brand standards, stylistic decisions and your company goals. This information helps to shape the understanding of who your company is and how you want to be represented to the world.
Taking the time to provide your translation partner with a detailed style guide explaining these decisions, and the style of writing that should be used, will ensure that the translations incorporate your company’s requirements. A glossary of terminology will also be beneficial at this stage and most translation companies will work with you to prepare such documentation.
Additionally, if you have any supporting product or service videos, webpages, specifications or images which provide further context or details related to the project, these can be an excellent point of reference for translators.
3. Provide ongoing feedback and support
We would recommend treating your vendor as a partner and working closely with them throughout your collaboration.
No feedback is usually taken as a sign that everything is going well, and you are happy with the delivered work. As such, translators will continue in their direction and with the word choices and formality they have chosen or been directed to through your briefing.
If you do notice something amiss, it is important to feed that back to your vendor as early as possible, so that it can be relayed to the translators and updated in any glossaries and translation memories which may be being used.
Want to learn more?
I hope this blog post has been a useful introduction to how to achieve high-quality translations. For more in-depth information and advice, read the full-length guide here! From reading this guide, you will learn:
- five top tips for producing high-quality translations
- the importance of auditing your existing translations
- a summary of our best practice advice