One of the reasons that total machine translation is not “yet” feasible involve parts of the translation process that require human awareness. Following is a list of 10 easy steps that you can take to ensure the accuracy and success of your next translation project.
Select a professional language service provider (LSP) rather than someone in your company who is fluent in the language you need. These people can be very helpful during a translation review process but if they are accounting experts, they will not be familiar with the appropriate terminology to translate a legal document. Their translation will end up sounding “foreign” or even incorrect.
- Provide your LSP with sufficient background information: what the material will be used for, what the specific market will be, whether or not additional materials will be coming in, etc. so that they can select the best possible word or phrase to meet your needs.
- Consider investing in glossary development if you have materials translated on a more frequent basis. To succeed in this competitive global marketplace, it’s essential that you speak “the same language” in all your communications. One company had their website home page translated with their product name spelled different ways throughout the translation. This is done by machine and can reduce costs and boost speed.
- Also consider investing time in looking around the translation industry until you find the right LSP to meet your needs. It pays back in financial savings, consistency, and accuracy to have “a partnership” with a LSP who knows your specific business needs and preferences. For example, Targem has many long-term partnerships with clients—we believe this says great things about the quality of our work and our service.
- Projects, due dates, and information can change while your initial document is being translated. This is the norm. You should have a relationship with your project manager that allows you to make changes on short notice. If they don’t have the capacity to handle that, they aren’t the LSP for you.
- Of course price is always a key driver in selecting an LSP. But consider other features as well. Depth of experience, knowledge of your area of expertise, a proven track record – these are all factors that will affect the quality of your translation. Sometimes, going for the lowest bid can end up costing much more than anticipated.
- It’s ideal to have an LSP that has first hand experience of being from or in another culture. They understand some of the subtle points of communication, presentation, etc. that can help you produce more effective communication, not the opposite.
- Take the size of an LSP into account: the largest company may have “too many voices” present in your translation and make it sound uneven; a company that is too small may not have sufficient resources to provide the level of expertise that’s required for your translation. Put simply, match your needs with what an LSP offers. With smaller or mid-size LSPs your importance as a client can have a huge influence on the level of service you receive.
- Editing and proofreading are essential to a complete translation. First, this involves the knowledge of multiple linguists; second, it increases the likelihood that your translation will sound so natural, as if it never been translated at all.
- Back translation is a handy tool when you know how to use it. If your project manager recommends that you use a back translation, work with them to find the best way to use it.