Quite a while back, I wrote about issues to note when writing for translation. During a recent large translation project, I realized that clients may also need to be educated on potential organizational issues related to translation. So here are some dos and don'ts for clients preparing for a translation:
- If there is a glossary, provide it up front, not a week into the assignment. This means scheduling enough time to develop the glossary before assigning the translation.
- If you want the translator(s) to develop a glossary in the course of the translation, tell him/her up front. Accept a format that can be exported from common translation (CAT) tools -- usually a tab- or comma-delimited file.
- If you absolutely need a glossary in a different format, expect to compensate the translator for the extra time spent preparing it.
- Proofread the original (source) text, paying particular attention to missing text, garbled sentences and similar problems that impede understanding.
- Remember, the translator is not a member of your staff. He/she is therefore not familiar with company-internal acronyms, such as abbreviations for names of departments or specific jobs. If you use these, provide the translator with a list (incl. the meaning/full wording of each acronym).
If you are a translator, are there any other issues to be added to this list?
If you are a translation buyer, what else do you provide the translator to ensure a smooth project?