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Tips to Make Your Documents Easier to Translate

Time is money for most people and this goes for professional translators, too. Generally, straightforward document translations are priced per word, but time is also relevant when it comes to translations. The longer a translation takes the more it is going to cost. If your business or organisation needs a lot of translation and you are concerned about keeping to a tight budget, there are ways you can make it faster and easier for your chosen translation agency to deal with the documents you have sent them to translate. Here are a few useful tips to make your documents easier to translate and cut the cost of translation, too!

  • Create a Style Guide

Style guides are normally created when there may be several people submitting documents which go to a translator and/or there are different translators dealing with content from the same client. Style guides aim to ensure consistency in the use of terms. Consistency helps translators, too because it means they don’t have to keep referring to you whenever there is doubt about a particular term, especially if they receive a document when there are different terms used for the same thing.


    • Keep the Language as Simple as Possible

    This tip won’t work for everyone, as there may be legal documents to translate, in which case simple terms and language cannot substitute for specific legal ones. Marketing translations, too, may mean the use of culturally appropriate slogans, idioms and slang which do not respond easily to simplification. For much translation content, though, some thought about language use can help to speed up translation times and save you dollars.

    • Plan a Design around the Language to be Translated into

    Languages vary, sometimes hugely, in terms of the space that it takes up on a web page, app or anywhere where text is designed to fit into a particular space. Think of the differences between English and Chinese, for instance. English is printed from left to right in Latin script, whereas Chinese is printed from right to left and top to bottom in characters. When one language is translated into another without any forethought it is likely that this difference in space requirements could be a headache, if not for the translator, but for you when you get the translation back. It just means that you should think about spacing beforehand and give the translator some guidelines to ensure it is not a problem.

    • Choose a Suitable Translator

    It is best to work with the same translator or translation agency because they will come to recognise your style and particular preferences, but you do need to make sure that the translator is suitable for your requirements in the first place. It all comes to a balance of reliability, ability to translate the languages you want, familiarity with the subject matter and cost.

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