8 Tips for Buying Translations

by Ricardo, Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at 5:29 am

(Global Marketing, Language & Translation)

For most clients, the experience of buying translations is often a source of frustration.

I’d talked to many clients about this, and it’s interesting to find out that, in many occasions, the project is not ready before they hand the translation job to the translation agency.

The following tips will help you better prepare the translation job.


Top tips for buying translation

Top tips for buying translation (image: restaurant de 3 biggetjes, Gent, Belgium, By Cheng Chao)

Tip #1: Write the source/original texts clearly

  • Do not make your texts hard to understand
  • Avoid the use of jargon and catchy slogans

Playing on words will only brings more troubles when we talk about translating them into another language, the process will be more painstaking for you and the translation will easily loses its desired effect.

Yes, there is some exception that you will need some special effects, and you need to spend a lot of time on them and do not treat these parts as regular translation jobs.

Tip #2: Only translate those necessary texts

It’s very important to choose those texts really needed for translation.

Actually you do not need to make everything the same with your existing document.

You can translate only relevant sections of your existing texts, or produce shorter ones in your own language for translation purpose.

Tip #3: Prepare clear and legible original text

Can you imagine the translator can work calmly when a scanned dirty copy, or a poorly formatted document was presented.

It’s not funny.

For some handwriting, almost nobody can recognize all the characters.

Can you image a good translation can be produced based on such texts?

Tip #4: Think Global, Act Local

Think international from the veryt beginning.

Make sure that adaptation is possible in other markets.

Avoid cultural-bound clich├ęs.

  • Do you think the text are really useful for the new language readers?
  • Can they understand what you are talking about?

Tip #5: Finalize your texts before the translation starts

Be cautious about continuous editings after you submitted your files for translation.

Once the translation has been started, or completed, any amendments may result in additional costs and time.

Be sure you finalize your texts before the formal translation starts.

Tip #6: Provide necessary support during the translation process

It’s very important to obtain your support.

You can provide supporting materials when you place the translation orders,

Items such as a glossary of terms or company literature can ensure the translation is consistent with your company terminology.

Furthermore, quick clarifications to the requests by the project manager or translator will be an integral part of a quality result.

Tip #7: Be careful to use machine translation

In most formal situations, machine translation can not replace human translation in a foreseeable future.

The end result of machine translation is always a very literal word by word translation that inevitably makes no sense and has inaccurate grammar. It can be great for you to get an idea of what a piece of text says but never use it for documents going into the public domain.

Tip #8: Who is your target audience?

Be sure to tell your translation project manager or translator what your text is for and who your target audience is.

It’s important so that they can prepare a foreign-language version with maximum impact for that particular audience and medium.



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One thought on “8 Tips for Buying Translations

  1. Pingback: 8 ways to reduce your translation costs | Lingo365 Translation Blog

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