Quality of Original Source Text WILL Determine Final Translated Text

May 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Translation

Globe, Keyboard This seems like an obvious observation but it is imperative that the original text be free from errors and created using basic desktop publishing rules to ensure a quality end translation.

For example:

1.  Proof the source document for grammatical errors, which includes sentence structure and typos.

2.  Know when to use hard returns and soft returns in your documents, this can cause a time delay if used improperly

3.  Provide final approved documents.  If you make adjustments during the translation process, this may cause a delay as well as possible confusion in the final translation.

It is important to have your source text finalized with proofing and desktop publishing etiquette followed to avoid delays and errors in your foreign language translation. 

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Translation Turnaround Time

May 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Translation

portable-time-clock Translation projects are all very different from each other so to provide a generic time frame for translation is a bit difficult but we can give you a general idea.

Most translators can translate about 1,500-3,000 words a day, depending on the technical difficulty of the materials.  These types of projects may require more time to ensure proper translations. 

If you have any artwork that needs to be translated and recreated this can take a bit longer because the piece will need to be translated and then also sent to a foreign language graphic designer. 

To make the project look exactly like the original a foreign language desktop publisher will need to set margins, fonts, and rearrange text with the images.  With different programs and foreign language text expansion during translation this can be a bit tricky.  Pagination often times will be changed as this takes time and a good eye for detail. 

Typically a translation project will be translated, proofread, desktop published/designed and then sent for a final edit to ensure accuracy. 

Hopefully this has given you a better sense of what needs to happen to make your translation projects come to fruition. 

How to Set a Translation Budget

May 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Translation

Global Money So you have a project that you have to translate and you have never done this before…what can you expect?

First and foremost…translations should be given the same thought, time and budget as your original English documents. 

If you want your clients, distributors and employees in other countries to respect your organization, understand your products/services and know your brand than it is important to give each translation the attention it deserves. 

Most translation companies and translators charge per word.  There can also be separate line items for file processing, project management, proofreading, desktop publishing, graphic design of art images and final editing.  Read the fine print on any estimates and to ask if there will be any other charges.

Be sure to set aside a realistic budget and timeline for your translation projects just as you would for your regular marketing and documentation efforts.

This will save you some stress in your foreign language translation work. 

Translation Memory, a useful tool your translators should be using

flagsToday, translation memory (TM) tools are everywhere.  Most translators and translation firms are using TM for contracts, legal documents and technical translation projects. 

25 years ago when the owner of Iterotext designed our own proprietary TM tool, no one else was using this.   We began creating this program due to our client’s to help save time and to increase consistency and ultimately save our clients money.

According wikipedia TM is:

“A translation memory, or TM, is a type of database that is used in software programs designed to aid human translators.  Some software programs that use translation memories are known as translation memory managers (TMM).A translation memory consists of text segments in a source language and their translations into one or more target languages. These segments can be blocks, paragraphs, sentences, or phrases. Individual words are handled by terminology bases and are not within the domain of TM.” 

One of the benefits of TM is that it ensures that the translated documents are consistent, including common definitions, phrasings and terminology.   A translation memory can help accelerating the overall translation process; since translation memories “remember” previously translated material, translators have to translate it only once. Ultimately, a TM Can reducing costs of long-term translation projects; for example the text of manuals, warning messages or series of documents needs to be translated only once and can be used several times.

Typically the segments are broken down into three areas:

New matches - which is a segment that has not been translated before and will be charged at full price.

Fuzzy matches - which is a segment that is typically 80%-99% similar to a segment that was previously translated and is translated at a discount.

100% exact matches - which  is a segment that has been translated before and only needs to be proofread for context.

There are several different programs out there.  Some are free and some you have to pay for.  We use SDLX and Trados which are now owned by the same company.  We use the professional version which has more flexibility and options.  Each translator and agency use the program and service level that is appropriate for their work and budget constraints.  Since Iterotext specializes in the work that requires TM we have spared no expense to ensure that our clients’ projects are timely, consistent and cost effective. 

Translation Terminology Glossaries

Dictionary-notepad-bigstockphoto145397 When translating text that is technical in nature or industry specific, it is always a best practice to include a terminology glossary for the translation team.

This step in the translation process may seem a bit arduous but will save the project time and ensure consistency and clarity.

By taking key terminology for your projects and creating a glossary of terms with clear definitions and illustrations if possible, you will ensure that your translated document will be precise.

Many of our automotive clients provide industry specific terminology for Iterotext to utilize during the translation process. This allows our translators to understand which terms are important and which terms are being used to describe certain parts of the automobile.

A translation terminology glossary can work in any industry, such as consumer electronics, appliance, heavy equipment and machinery.

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