19 June 2018
Checklist of 5 points

This is a question that you may have asked yourself at one time or other: can I do something to speed up the translation process?

The good news is that you can! The following tips let you give your translator a helping hand and ensure you receive your finalised translation quicker.

1. Provide reference material as far as possible

All additional information can help your translator and reduce the amount of time he or she needs for research.

For instance, is there a list of fixed company terms that do not need to be translated at all, but simply remain in the source language? Or is there a table with terms that were already translated into all of the desired languages?

For abbreviations which are less common or which exist solely in your company, it is particularly important to compile a list detailing their meanings.

And finally, pictures really do say more than words. If there are pictures which detail your products, make them available to the translator. A word can have different meanings in different contexts – but a picture can quickly eliminate any doubts as to its meaning.

This all helps your translator to make the right translation decisions quicker.

2. Make yourself available for queries

In case there is no reference material for a specific point or if the translator happens to have a question, it helps if you are on hand.

Sometimes the response is not urgent, because the exact meaning of the term in question may not prevent the translator from going on to work on the rest of the text first.

However, there are also cases where the whole text is dependent on the meaning of a single word, in which case a very precise explanation from you is fundamental.

If you or another contact person are available for queries at short notice, you can guarantee that there are no interruptions to the translation process and everything can go ahead smoothly.

3. Only send finalised texts for translation

The text the translator receives should ideally be the final version.

Even if it is just a few words that are changed after placing the order, this still has implications for the translation.

Depending on how far your translator has got with the translation, the additional effort can vary between negligible an considerable – and that costs time accordingly.

For that reason you should try to avoid changes to the text after placing the order.

And if there really is no other way, then make your changes visible. This lets the translator see which sentence or words need to be adjusted without wasting so much time.

4. Ensure the source text is consistent

Your source text is the basis for all its translations. The higher the quality of the source text, the easier – and faster – it is to translate.

As a result, you should take care that all names are written consistently and do not vary in details such as capitalisation and hyphenation.

Translation is also easier when dates are written in a consistent format and line breaks are correctly set. Terminology should also be consistent throughout.

And the most important thing: adopt uniform formulations for similar texts, for instance, for the product descriptions of similar products.

Translation memories supply the translator with suggestions taken from previous translations. If a sentence is repeated in the source text, the translation will pop right up.

This not only ensures a faster translation, but also consistency between your texts.

5. Give advance notice for larger order volumes

If you know in advance that a larger project is headed for translation, inform your translation agency beforehand.

This is the only way to ensure that the right translators and the required work capacity remain free for the arrival of your project. Then, as soon as your text arrives, the translators can begin work at once, avoiding all unnecessary delays.

It is, however, important to send your text at the arranged time or inform your translation agency about any delays.

Otherwise, the agency is flying blind: is the project still on its way or can projects from other customers be taken care of in the meantime? After all, the translators have planned their workload around your project.

So, it’s simple.

If you follow these five tips, nothing is standing in the way of a speedy translation

And the best thing is that some of these tips are really easy to put into practice. It is likely that you already have appropriate pictures or other reference material for your product at your disposal. Just making this material available on its own can turbo boost the speed of the translation process for your text.

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