Key stages in optimising translation management
Managing translation successfully doesn’t start and end with the text itself. Smooth, honed processes are the difference between short-term adequacy and long-term excellence, from planning the original content to reviewing, delivering and reusing the translated material.
Are you looking to increase your return on investment when it comes to your translated content? Read on for our industry insights and expert tips to streamline the translation management process.
Before a word has even been translated, there is a wide range of preparatory steps you can take to maximise quality when managing translation:
- Planning ahead – meetings both within your company and with your translation provider can anticipate potential issues before they develop, preventing costly amendments and creating a streamlined process.
- Communication – as with any project, clear, timely communication is key. If you have any special instructions or considerations, from your target audience (e.g. English for Ireland, young women aged 12-18), specifying these ensures that the translation is tailored to your needs and avoids any misinterpretation. Likewise, the timely communication of any necessary changes, such as the intended purpose of the translation, once the project has moved into the translation stage builds a relationship of trust.
Once the translation phase is underway, there are still a number of ways to improve the process:
- Translation-friendly layout – bear the translation process in mind when planning your content. Allowing for an increase or drop in word count will avoid any reformatting. Did you know, for example, that a French translation can be up to 20% longer than its English original? Graphics are also a frequent problem, as text embedded in images cannot be directly edited. This issue can be resolved by providing the text separately and using a key for clarity.
- File formats – enabling translators to translate in, or at least see, the end format is crucial in order for them to take into account space constraints, and other design considerations and avoid any reworking after the file is delivered.
- Linguistic assistance – providing or determining brand terminology, style guides and tone of voice recommendations ensures consistency and brand-approved language across all of your content. Tone of voice, in particular, can single out, or prevent the alienation of, certain age groups and socio-economic groups by excluding colloquialisms. The resulting unified language ensures consistency and maintains a sense of brand identity.
- Cultural awareness – managing a global brand means being sensitive to cultural issues that could alienate your target audience. If you have chosen to market your product in Australia rather than the UK, for example, you will need to select country-specific expressions and cultural references in order to make a meaningful connection with your target audience and avoid any confusion. Read more of our advice on creating a global brand.
The final touches
Even when the content has been translated, there are still measures that can be taken to maximise the results:
- Optimising content reuse – using a content management system enables you to save material once the translation has been completed in order to reuse it in product catalogues, instruction manuals and websites for different markets, for example. Working with individual documents complicates text reuse and makes it difficult to republish the same content on multiple channels.
- Quality control – the final stage in many sectors, quality assurance is also a necessary phase when managing translation, although the need for an extensive process is considerably mitigated by the aforementioned management measures earlier on in the process.
Producing global communications is a complex process, from determining your target audience to identifying cultural considerations and approving preferred terminology. Optimising these elements will ensure high-quality translation, an effective, streamlined process and the potential to drive sales growth across your international target markets.
At Text n’ More, our translation, localisation, quality assurance and testing services ensure that you are market-ready in any language. By communicating with your customers in their language, we give your business the global edge. Contact us now to find out how we can work together.