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Preparing Your Documents for Translation

Posted 4 Jun 2018

We aim to provide accuracy and confidentiality when we translate your documents. It is also our priority to deliver your translations in an efficient and cost-effective way, whilst ensuring the translation conveys the same meaning and quality of the original source copy. In order to streamline the process, we have provided some guidelines below, covering some of the main points for consideration when preparing your documents for translation.

Sending us the file in the original format it was written in can reduce the time needed to convert PDFs into a format we can work with.
The most common formats we work with are Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign.
We can also work with PDFs, but it takes a little longer to establish the word count - especially with scanned or faxed PDFs.

Word count
We'll count the number of words in the source document and provide a quotation based on this. Often a document may contain lists of part numbers, serial codes or tables containing numbers. The likelihood is that these won't need to be translated, so we wouldn't include them in the quote.

Let us know who your target audience is. You need to be precise about the language you want the document translated into. For example, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese are different languages, so we need to be clear about who is going to read the translation.

Our translators generally translate around 1,500 to 2,000 source words per day. As our preferred translator may not be immediately available to work on your project, it is worth allowing some lead time at the beginning of your project, as well as some time for checking the translation afterwards.

Glossaries and Translation Memories
If you're a regular buyer of translation services, you may already have your own glossaries and translation memories. If so, you can send these to us and we'll incorporate them into our systems in order to keep the consistency of your terminology. We can also create new glossaries from your existing documents and send them to you for approval.

The purpose of your translation
Let us know what the translation will be used for once it is completed. Is it simply for information purposes, or will it be published either in print or on the web?
Will you be sending the translation to colleagues in-country for revision prior to publication, or do you need us to engage a third-party reviser to ensure the translation is polished, ready for publication?

Signed-off documents
If possible, it is always best to get your source copy signed-off before sending it to us for translation. We're happy to incorporate authors' amendments at a later stage, but it does add to the time and cost of a project.

These are a few guidelines to preparing your documents for translation. If you would like a more in-depth discussion with one of our team on how we can help you, just contact us by phone or email.