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Translation is a team effort, not only within the translation service, but also with the customer. By using the following guidelines, you will greatly enhance your chances of receiving a well-crafted and accurate translation.

Step 1: Provide enough information to chose the translator best suited to your needs. 

As we work with a variety of freelance translators, from those with industry specific knowledge in technical fields to audio-visual translators who are able to work with space and time constraints, the more information clients can provide the project manager with, the better the final product will be.   It helps us if we know the content, purpose and tone or style of the document to be translated as well as the target audience and this also reduces the need for revisions at a later stage.

Step 2: Provide reference materials 

Not only does this facilitate the translator’s task but more importantly, it will increase the chances of getting the final localised content completely tailor-made to the client’s taste, style and specifications.  For most projects, the following should be provided if possible – reference materials, such as a URL, a link to a company website, a copy of an existing manual or catalogue; a glossary – this can include any proper nouns, technical terms, or in-house jargon consistently used in the company’s materials; a style guide – mainly necessary if translations are press releases or annual reports to adhere to your company style.

Step 3: Ask the translation company about quality control

It is important to check whether quality control processes are in place. Any reputable provider will have these types of safeguards, as mistakes can happen even with the most experienced translators.  GoLocalise offers in-house quality controls, for example, checks to make sure that no text is omitted and that our translators follow the client’s style guide and/or glossary.

Step 4: Understand the variables

Translation is not just a matter of comprehension. You need to be aware that formatting can change drastically when a document is translated from one language to another, and so as the customer, you need to ask the translation agency if the formatting/layout is included as part of the translation package, or if you will have to re-format the translated work yourself.  For example, some elements, such as titles and headings translated from English to Japanese often take up less space, while the main body may take up more.  Tables of contents, footnotes and bibliographies may also differ.

Step 5: Always offer feedback

If you are happy with the service and the quality you receive, let someone know. A quick note to the project manager saying, “We were very pleased with the document and will no doubt work with you again” takes only seconds to deliver and has a tremendous impact. On the other hand, if there was a problem, be specific and provide constructive feedback. If there are careless errors or the style guide was not followed, the company’s representative should be informed to be able to address the issues and make appropriate changes. Most problems can be fixed, and complete customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal your vendor wants to achieve.

Lastly, bear in mind for any future projects that in addition to translations, GoLocalise can also offer subtitling solutions (transcription, translation and subtitle burning-in) for any kind of videos or films, and voice-over services in our state-of-the-art recording studios, with a pool of over a thousand experienced voice-over talents in over 80 languages.