Useful tips

If the quality of a translation depends of course largely on our intervention, you can also contribute significantly to it by a good preparation beforehand and a good feedback afterwards, and by remaining reachable during the job.

Here are some tips that may prove useful not only for the translation itself, but also in your content management:

Integrate the translation phase in your processes

By planning it at an early stage of your content creation / management process, and including a margin to cope with the inevitable contingencies, this allows to set a realistic time frame and to avoid additional costs for an emergency execution.

Validate content before translation

Run the translation phase only on the final content, properly proofread, corrected and approved by management and / or other stakeholders. If the document was published in revision mode, confirm the changes before sending it for translation.

Run the translation before formatting

It is always hazardous to lay out a document intended to be issued in several languages before translating it. From one language to another, the length can indeed fluctuate considerably, from 20 to 30% in some cases! This is called "expansion". This expansion can cause problems to the translator as well as to the designer or the developer of software or Web sites (e.g.: footer → pied de page).

Cure the source document before translation

Be sure to set the correct language for your source document and then a complete spell check to eliminate as much as possible typos, punctuation errors, unnecessary tabs, redundant spaces, etc. To this end, view your document by displaying the paragraph marks (¶) in your usual word processor.
If it proves impossible to have the translation of your text done before formatting (see previous tip), avoid as much as possible to format fragments of your document by modifying the "normal" style and prefer instead the use of (predefined or custom) "styles".
Use indents and set tabs instead of a succession of spaces to vertically align text fragments;

Choose the correct application

Excel® is not a word processor and Word® is not a spreadsheet.

Perform "clean" copy/paste

Especially between different applications (e.g. from a web page, an email client, a spreadsheet or presentation to a word processor), but also between different files within the same application, avoid the simple "paste", which can jeopardise the structure of your source file with malformed components, and always prefer a "clean paste" (e.g. in Word®: Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text).

Mark the changes in successive versions

Be sure to clearly mark (for example using a font colour, highlighting etc.) the modified parts when you assign us the translation of a new version of a text already translated previously. This will avoid treating (and thus invoicing) the whole document.

Document us (before)

When sending us the final document to be translated, consider also to document us as completely as possible, in order to ensure consistency, and terminology or expressions specific to your company / sector. As we use C.A.T. tools (see Frequently Asked Questions) that are fed over time, this "memory" will thus be enhanced for an even better quality.

  • previous source & validated translation (if performed by another stakeholder);
  • company glossary;
  • terminology references;
  • technical references;
  • legal references;
  • legal sources;
  • full meaning of used abbreviations;
  • etc.

For the same reasons as mentioned above, your feedback after delivery is very helpful, as it will allow us to maintain and update our tools to serve you even better.

Remain reachable

It is not advisable to outsource tasks during your absence.
This will leave the subcontractor without any opportunity to contact you to submit his technical or practical questions or clarification requests.