Comtec’s tips on how to prepare content for translation

Our highly-skilled linguists and award-winning team of project managers are experts in all things translation. Rest assured that when it comes to languages, we’ve got you covered! But with our 30+ years of industry experience, we understand how important it is to work closely with our clients to achieve and deliver the very best results. We’ve listed a few ways below in which you, our clients, can assist us in developing perfectly localised copy time after time.

Finalise your content

Writing content for an international audience presents challenges – every language is different! But considering a few things when writing the text will reduce the risk of delays and the number of queries you’ll receive from translators will be kept to a minimum:

  • Use simple English with short, concise sentences
  • Make sure terminology is consistent
  • Run a spelling and grammar check prior to translation
  • Avoid using abbreviations/acronyms that may introduce confusion
  • Allow room for expansion of text – German or French can be 30-40% longer than English

Most importantly, make sure your text is finalised before sending it for translation. Updates can significantly prolong the translation process and may result in inconsistencies.

Brief your translation company

It’s important that your translation partner understands the purpose of the text they’re translating in order to get it absolutely right. Preparing and providing a clear and detailed brief is essentially a recipe for the success off your project. Take 15 minutes to consider the following things and you’ll be on to a winner:

  • What is your objective? Is it to inform or sell?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Is there a particular tone and style required?
  • Should the translation stick to the English or is there scope to get creative?

Organise internal resources

We’re almost there, but in addition preparing a brilliant brief, there are 3 last steps that you can take with the assistance of your translators to achieve pure translation perfection:

  • Collate existing translated material: manuals, brochures, websites etc. can be used by your translation provider for context and to ensure consistency of terminology.
  • Create a glossary of key terms: share any company preferred or industry specific terminology with your translation provider. They will provide their suggested translations for review and approval early in the process.
  • Establish a translation review process: engage local markets or colleagues with language skills to approve translated content. This will ensure local styles and cultural values are reflected. Book them in advance to ensure projects run to time.

These are just some of the ways you and your translation partner can work together in order to ensure that all language projects run like clockwork.

If you have any queries regarding the process, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on +44 (0) 1926 335 681 – we quite like talking!

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