With any project, dedicating sufficient time to preparation can help to achieve better results. This is precisely the case with professional translation. Deciding that you want to engage a translation agency is just the first step. Then it’s time to take a detailed look at what you want translated and why.
Who are you translating your content for? Knowing this will help your translation agency to get into the mind-set of your intended reader. It will help them to ensure that copy is localized in order to appropriately meet the cultural expectations and (if applicable) popular culture references of its new readers.
Understanding your intended audience will also assist the translation agency when it comes to their choice of language – whether or not they should use contractions is a great example.
Another way to immediately begin getting the best out of your translation agency is to look at your translation from every angle so that you know precisely what you’re asking for. For example, if you want your website translated, does that include just the main titles, subtitles and body copy? What about alt tags or SEO descriptions and keywords?
Images and other graphics also require careful thought. If you use an image of a chart to illustrate a point in the original article, do you need the agency to translate the wording on that chart? And do you have the software available to amend the chart image? If not, are you expecting your translation agency to do so for you? Knowing the answers to these kinds of questions from the outset means that you can get your translation project off to a flying start.
If you are likely to need a large volume of information translated, let your translation company know as early as possible in the project. Doing so will ensure that they can line up a sufficient team of professional translators to meet your deadline. This is particularly important if you have an urgent translation project that involves large quantities of copy.
Giving your translation company a heads up may work to your advantage in other ways too. It may be possible to negotiate a discounted rate if you commit to send the agency a particular volume of work – something that you are unlikely to be able to achieve if you just keep adding to the project in a seemingly haphazard fashion!
Ultimately, the way to get the best out of your translation agency is to give them as much information as possible at the start of the project. If the agency is aware of precisely what you need, when your deadline is and whether there are any particular pressures that could disrupt the timeline, then they have the knowledge to enable them to meet your needs. It’s a simple approach really, but a surprising number of translation agency clients find themselves quite suddenly behind the curve as the project starts. Make sure that you’re not one of them by following the guidance above!
If you have a specific translation need, why not speak to the Tomedes team about it? We’d love to hear from you!