We have worked with thousands of clients over our 30 years in business, from small, quick turn-around jobs to complex technical translations that took months to complete. Our
experience has shown that regardless of the scale of a translation project, there are a couple of elementary questions every client should be ready to answer before seeking help from a professional translation agency. If you can answer these questions upfront, the rest of the translation process will go much smoother.
- What language or languages do you require? Equally important, in what specific countries will this translation be used, and what regions of the country will be targeted? Many countries have different dialects or language variations spoken by different parts of the population. For instance, the Portuguese in Portugal is not the same as the Portuguese in Brazil, and Mandarin differs from Cantonese for Chinese speakers. Our ability to translate into more than 200 languages can help reach virtually every audience you have in mind, but the more specific, the better.
- Has your company or organization translated materials into this language(s) in the past? Is it important to match your content with any existing translated terminology? Are there existing translations or a glossary of your common terms available for reference?
- Is there anything in your source English text that requires further explanation—for example, terms that are specific to your products, industry or company? If so, can you provide a glossary or definitions in text form?
- Has your source English text already been proofread from a translation perspective? This is important to make sure translators have your final, corrected copy to work on. For any English phrases, idioms or terms that won’t translate well into another language, our professional linguists will find an appropriate equivalent in the target language, which can sometimes be quite different. For example, the phrase “pulling your leg” in English would be better expressed as “hanging noodles on your ears” in Russian. You should also be alert for examples, procedures or telephone numbers that wouldn’t be applicable outside the USA.
- Do you plan to involve personnel in your foreign offices for review of the final translation? If so, we can provide you with some guidelines to streamline this process. This is especially important when multiple languages are involved.
- What file format will you be providing, and how do you want the translation returned? Original source files can sometimes be so large that digital data compression is necessary. We can accept zipped files and stuffed files in most cases. We also have an ftp site for receiving and sending large files.
- Will you require page layout or related publication design work for your translated text? Will you ask your translation service provider to perform this work, or will they only be expected to proofread the pre-designed document? ASIST can certainly provide this creative service, we’ll just need to know about any existing layout files, the software and version used to create the original files (i.e., InDesign Studio, CorelDraw version X, QuarkXPress version X, etc.), your preferred final file format, and any specifications regarding fonts, graphics, and related design elements.
Considering the answers to these questions beforehand will help create a smooth, efficient process for the successful completion of your translation projects.
For more help in getting your translation project started on the right foot, give us a call. We’d be happy to assist.
For more than 30 years, ASIST Translation Services, Inc. has worked with business, government, educational and non-profit clients around the world. We improve foreign language communications through a full menu of translation and interpreting services, including content localization, studio voice recording & audio-visual production, transcreation, proofreading, website content, page layout & design, cultural training, and other specialized language support. To learn more about how we can assist you, visit our LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages or our Website!