CREATING STELLAR TRANSLATION DOCUMENTS
The journey of an efficient and effective translation project starts long before the first syllable of text is transformed. And as more and more companies transact business across continents and cultures in an increasingly global market, translation is moving from luxury to necessity - whether it is in a business to business environment, direct sales, or internal company communications.
Laying a strong foundation once you start work on the project can be crucial to cohesive teamwork, a successful project, and an excellent end product. Here are some steps to consider taking as you pour the foundation for your project:
Review the Source Document - Is the contact information for an internal audience? Toll-free numbers are only good in North America, so is there alternative contact information for an audience outside North America? Is the date spelled out? Month, day, and date formatting varies culturally, so the most effective way to communicate dates is to spell out the month. Are acronyms explained, American puns eliminated, and metaphors that might be hard to translate eliminated? If the document audience is European, are the measurements metric?
Engage in Dialogue - Discuss the general audience for the document, including the individual receiving it and how they will be using it. For example, if it is a technical manual, is it for managers or machine operators? If it is a manual for equipment, dialogue about the machine's purpose, how it operates, and where it will be installed.
Create a Glossary and Style Guide - Make a list of key terms and concepts to be translated into the target language. This facilitates consistency and efficiency during translation and editing - especially if several individuals are involved in the translating, editing, and/or reviewing process. This is also helpful for consistency if there are several dialects within the same language. Increasing efficiency for the translation vendor decreases costs, saves time, helps your financial bottom line, and improves the effectiveness of the process.
Another section of the guide could include repetitive words and phrases that could serve as the baseline for translation memory software. And a third section of the guide could be words, titles, and technical names of products and components that will not be translated into the target language but be copied as is from the source document.
Decide on Key Details - Identify terminology that will remain in the source language and not be translated. Determine a tracking system and notation on documents, especially if the same source document is being translated into multiple languages.
Starting your translation project off with these key steps can go a long way towards a successful project. Keep the momentum going with open, positive, and professional communication to help the translation vendor gain understanding and clarity of the source document and what it is trying to accomplish. Be open to interviews the translator may request with company product or service experts or possibly even site visits if that will help them give you the most accurate translation possible.
If you haven't quite reached this step in your translation project and are still in the vendor selection process, we'd love to talk to you about your project. And, take a few moments to visit our blog where you'll find some tips on choosing a translation vendor.
CASE STUDYThe Project: Service Manual for the BroadBeam Electron Beam Processor
The Client: PCT Engineered Systems, LLC
The Language: English to German
A colleague referral led Michael Peters, PMP, Director of PCT's BroadBeam Equipment Division to TTE. "I was looking for a translation service we could use for a technical manual." he says. They also were looking for a certified, reviewed translation, which TTE could provide.
Providing a product overview as well as operational specifics, the 100 plus page manual is a resource for management, operations, and maintenance. And for PCT the technical nature of the document meant that engagement and dialogue was crucial in not only an effective process but an excellent end product. "There were components that have a specific name, a specific terminology, and are used for a specific function that you're not just going to find off the shelf. They're custom parts and they perform very specific functions," says Peters. And he was pleased with TTE's interaction and thoroughness. "The questions they asked were not ones that came from just a quick scan of the document," he says.
The purchase order for the project was written in October and the final translation was delivered in December. While the project timeframe included some unforeseen delays, shortcuts weren't taken. Continued diligence, thoroughness, and strong attention to detail resulted in an accurately translated manual just as effective in German as in English that met the needs of the client.
TTE extends a warm welcome to our new clients, including Sawdust Investments, Schiavolin Productions, and a top geological survey company. We appreciate you! Thank you for your business.
A New Board Appointment and Chamber Membership
TTE is excited to announce that CEO Terry Thompson has been asked to serve on the board of the online store, Parish WebStore, and has accepted. Thompson is now also a member of her local Chamber of Commerce in Huntley, Illinois.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND CONTRIBUTION
A Continuing Priority and Passion
For the past two years, TTE CEO Thompson has served on the parish council at her church. During that time she has forged new friendships and taken on new challenges, including being a fundraiser team lead for the church's building project. The project is expected to be completed in April 2013. "I'm thrilled at the additional opportunities for our church family and community outreach that will come with our new and expanded space," she says. Thompson has also joined the church's Respect for Life committee.
Thompson continues to stay abreast of political and regulatory issues affecting her community, and volunteers as she is able in those areas.
On behalf of TTE, Thompson recently contributed to 2nd Hand Ranch & Rescue, a wildlife rehabilitation center. TTE's contribution went toward bunny incubators.