10 Top Tips for effective communication with overseas customers

10 Top Tips for effective communication with overseas customers:

  1. Always provide bi-lingual contracts using a template where both languages are laid out side-by-side. This is essential if you will be discussing the contract with your client (with or without an interpreter).
  2. Look for a preferred glossary of terms before translating technical manuals. This will avoid any confusion over the meaning of specialised phrases.
  3. Keep the text that is to be translated simple and direct. Don’t ‘play on words’ or use colloquialisms – the meaning can be lost in translation.
  4. Don’t use machine or online translation to communicate with your client. Important points may be missed or misinterpreted.
  5. Ensure that job titles are translated correctly. There are cultural norms relating to job titles and if they are not correct, offence can be caused!
  6. Ensure that your Translation Provider creates a translation memory (sentences or paragraphs that have previously been translated), and uses this as well as the glossary of terms for all future translations to ensure precision and consistency.
  7. When you receive correspondence which requires a reply in a foreign language, make sure that you are aware of any deadlines before starting the translation. This will enable your Translation Provider to plan the project accordingly.
  8. When tendering for overseas contracts, discuss with your Translation Provider how and by whom the documents will be certified within the required time schedule. Public Sector bodies, for example, have specific instructions for translation processes which have to be adhered to, as well as a minimum timeframe for legalising translated documents.
  9. Wherever possible, ensure that your Translation Provider can deliver certified translations so that you can show your client a commitment to doing business. This will also prevent any legal mistakes.
  10. If your overseas client makes any amendments to a translated technical document, ask your Translation Provider to identify what the changes are. Are they preferential or has the source text been changed? Don’t forget to arrange for the translation memory software to be updated for future use.

The above are based on actual scenarios and further information can be provided.

Contact: Janet Perkins, TW Languages ( T: 0161 826 8777

Using translation memory works best on technical translations

Translation memory (TM) works best on texts which are highly repetitive, such as technical translations i.e. technical manuals. If a TM system is used consistently on appropriate texts it can save translation time, increase consistency in quality and this is where cost savings can be applied. TM is also helpful for translating incremental changes to a previously translated document, for example minor changes in a new version of a user manual. TM is not considered appropriate for literary or creative texts for the simple reason that this form of language is more stylistic with little repetition in the language used.

Multi-lingual website, technical translation and cost savings is an example of a successful complex multi-lingual website which includes technical translation, in three languages, together with translation cost savings of over 27%.

The success of this project was due to a number of reasons;  good working relationship between supplier and client; working towards the same aims and objectives; one point of contact for both parties and clear communication channels.

The overall project comprised of translating the website, technical documents, scripts, voice-overs etc., in all three languages. Over 120,000 words per language therefore after running the files through translation memory software we identified a high number of repetitions, which resulted in a cost saving for the client of 27%. Quite a saving for a large project!

The result is that Brelko have produced a complex website for the international market that is consistent in content and style and easy to navigate.