Gina Wadley from the Society for Technical Communication mentioned in an online meeting yesterday that she sends a guide to language service providers (LSPs) who translate her company's documentation and other materials. In addition to basic information, such as a list of the files included that need to be translated, that guide also provides information about the documents' intended audience, what should not be translated (e.g., programming strings), and similar instructions. In addition, she provides the LSP with a glossary as an Excel spreadsheet.
During our conversation, Gina suggested I create a checklist/questionnaire for clients that asks for some of the information she provides to her LSPs, such as audience, intended use of the document, available glossaries, etc. This is an excellent idea I will try to work on after the holidays. If all of us request such specific information from our (end) clients, companies who contract for translation services will get used to providing this information up front.
So far, I think I would like to include questions asking for the following information:
- What is the intended audience (programmers, end users, general public, ...)?
- What is the intended use (online help, printed documentation, ...)?
- Is there a Q&A process after the translation has been received? If so, what is that process and who is involved?
- What is the final deadline for the translated product (compared to the deadline for the translation)?
- Are there internal glossaries, company-specific abbreviations, existing product descriptions, websites, etc. in English? If so, please provide that supporting information.
What else do you think should be included in such a questionnaire/checklist?
I will be spending next week with my family and won't post. I will be back on January 4. Happy Holidays!/p>