How can you improve the quality of communication, make your texts more fluent, and better ensure the delivery of your message? How can your target group understand you better in other languages?
These five tips explain how you can help improve the quality of the translations you need, and how you can help translators produce even better texts for your use.
1. Explain the purpose of the translation
Translators need to know the intended target country or culture of the text, and the purpose of the translation. This helps them choose the correct tone, typical expressions and words used in the target area, as well as the suitable layout for the translated document. If it is an official translation, it is useful for the translator to know where and why the translation is needed and whether it should be accompanied by an apostille (a certificate of authentication) from a local register office.
2. Check your own text
Read your document thoroughly once more before you send it for translation. Or, ask a colleague for feedback before adding the final touches. Clear, logical and fluent texts are always easier for translators to work on; it means they don’t need to guess meanings.
3. Show your own expertise
Do translated materials on a similar topic already exist? And are you aware of relevant vocabulary for this topic? If you disclose these details when placing your order, you save both your own and the translator’s time, as this eliminates the need for additional question and answer sessions.
4. Read the translation carefully
In addition to making comments and thanking the translator, suggest any necessary amendments and corrections. Professional translators are happy to receive feedback, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. Live and learn – you can’t improve without feedback. Use the Track Changes function in Word or add comments using sticky notes. Be clear in emails, and use numbered points, if needed, to explain which parts still require changes. This helps avoid having to make the same correction again next time.
5. Explain what you do
Present your workplace and work to the translator and tell them about your industry and your goals. The better the translator understands the challenges in your operations or work, as well as your wishes, the better they can utilise this information in their translation work. Be open; discuss your competitors and partners too, as the translator may need many kinds of sources to support their translation work.
Allow enough time for the translation. Translating is creative work and requires concentration and thorough familiarisation with the topic. Of course, a good translator works efficiently on familiar materials, but the best service is guaranteed when you start the process early, enabling a smooth translation to be completed on schedule.
Let’s keep in touch – we want to help you improve your communication even further. What can we do for you?
Miia is in charge of Lingo’s business and steering it towards international waters.
CEO, translator, most senior quality controller