Thursday, October 7, 2010

Be Organized and Keep Your Translator Happy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If you absolutely need a glossary in a different format, expect to compensate the translator for the extra time spent preparing it.
  4. Proofread the original (source) text, paying particular attention to missing text, garbled sentences and similar problems that impede understanding.
  5. 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?

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