A quick guide to working with translations

A quick guide to working with ‘translators’ written by Jack Porteous, UKTI London’s Language and Culture Adviser is a clear and simple guide to working with ‘translations’. He actually refers to ‘translators’ however as the UKTI helps UK-based exporters succeed globally, from a commercial basis the focus should be on business, technical and scientific translations, and generally in more than one language. I would suggest that translation service providers are more qualified to provide this service.

From a global perspective the translation industry has over 25,000 commercial language service providers with approx 45% of providers in Europe. There is the suggestion that 60% of the global market comprises of language service providers who have 2 to 5 employees, with 17% employing 6 to 10 employees.

Some of the differences between a translator as opposed to a translation service provider can be seen in that service providers produce multi-lingual translations; work within a wide range of market sectors; project manage to meet deadlines irrespective of any catastrophes along the way; have larger translation memory databases etc.

However, the common denominator for both translator and translation service provider is that both are providing a service to the client. All parties must have a clear understanding, trust and transparency in what work is being undertaken and the level of quality expected.

An overview of the article:

You’ve spent hours agonising over the minutiae of your marketing materials, days making your website word-perfect, and months producing the perfect sales brochure. Now you’re looking to export and need it all translating – so how can you guarantee that your translator gives a true representation of your company and products?

Trusting someone from outside of your company with such an integral part of your communications can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are my top tips for working with translators:

 1. You get what you pay for

2. Prepare your materials for translation

3. Communication, communication, communication

4. Who is it for?

5. Check and check again

Buying translation is far more complicated than buying a real, tangible product and it’s important to get it right. Botched translation can be expensive to put right, and the consequences of not getting it spot on first time can be much greater than you might think in terms of your reputation and your bottom line. You don’t want to get lost in translation, so make sure you are confident with your choice of translator and work with them to ensure the end product reflects the strength of your company and products.

jackporteous@uktilondon.org.uk  https://ukti.blog.gov.uk/2014/07/17/a-quick-guide-to-working-with-translators/#comments