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Written by Javier Arizpe

December 12, 2018

Check these tips before having your contents translated


If you want to internationalize your business and reach a greater audience, you have to translate your contents for example, your website or blog (including every entry), advertisements, instruction manuals and technical documents (if necessary).

This seems easy enough, just sending a bunch of texts to a translation company and then waiting for them to give them back in a few days. However, there’s a problem, some documents aren’t translatable.

The point is that some companies don’t write it thinking about a future translation when they write their documents, articles, instructions, among other texts. And, during the translation process the service provider may ask a lot of questions in order to translate your document correctly. It turns out that one of the ingredients for a good translation is a clear and accurate original text.

Thats why, I want to share with you these tips, so that the process of translating your content be easier and faster.

When writing

Do it in a clear and simple way, use short sentences, avoid repetitions, and ambiguities (that may confuse the target audience and the translator). Write your contents with concrete ideas that are easy to understand in your own language.

Think about your desired target audience and tell it to the translation service provider. Keep in mind that the tone will change between an adult audience with technical knowledge about a specific area, and and a young audience involved in a social movement.

If you constantly use abbreviations (including the ones that are only used within your company) or acronyms, I recommend you to enlist them (like a glossary) in order to make the translator’s work easier and the translation process faster.

Remember, humor is quite difficult to translate, because what works in one language and culture may not work in another. I you want to translate your contents, be careful with these elements. The same goes for cultural connotations, which in most cases, are explained and not translated. Don’t forget that a foreign reader may not understand a reference that comes from a different culture.

If you’re working with a specific terminology, be coherent. Both native and foreign audiences will be confused if you use several terms to talk about the same concept. Try to always use the same term, so your readers know what you mean.

Check what you want to have translated before you send it. This is a fundamental stage in case you want to make corrections to the documents, especially if your manuals include old or obsolete processes, or there are articles in your Web page that you don’t need in another language. You can even count the wordsin the document, so you know what’s going to be the price of the translation.


When translating

Keep in touch and communicate with the translation company. Don’t forget to clear the translator’s doubts. Even if you’ve provided enough information when you requested the service, there can always be questions left to be solved during the translation process.

You should always take some time revise the translated document after you receive it. Any comment, whether positive or negative, will help your provider adapt to your requirements, especially, if you’re going to have a long working relationship.


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