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4 Important Tips to Ensure a Quality Translation

Updated on October 29, 2015

One of the most frustrating parts of running a business that depends on overseas communication whether this involves just the odd business letter or form, a marketing strategy or website translation is that it is hard to monitor the quality of the translation oneself because of the lack of understanding of the target language.There are many ways that you can ensure you get a quality translation and we will concentrate on just four of these here in this article.

Tip No. 1: Always use a human translator

Using a human translator is much more likely to result in a better translation than using something like Google Translate. These internet-based or automated translation services are mainly designed for personal or amateur translation. Of course, the right kind of human translator is important, too and this will depend on what you want translated. In Australia, most translators are accredited by a national accreditation authority (NAATI). If you need important documents translated then using a certified translation service such as a NAATI one should give you peace of mind that the standard is high.

Human translators, whether your translation needs are going to be met by translation service providers in Australia or elsewhere in the world, are also needed to proofread the work you need translating after the task has been completed. Proofreading is essential to maintain quality.

Tip 2: Provide your translator with all essential information

Ideally, and this is especially true if you have a long-term need for translation, you should build up a close relationship with your translator or translation service. The more information you can provide to the translator, the better. This really means who is the recipient or target audience for the translated material? What are the cultural nuances or peculiarities that need to be taken into account? What kind of style do you expect the work to be completed in? Also, what sort of time frame is involved? Ask the translator what else would help them to provide you with a first rate translation.

Tip 3: Make sure you allow sufficient time for a quality translation

If you know you are going to need a document translated or a whole website, then don’t leave it too late. Many document translation services and other translation providers can achieve a fast turn-around time if presented with sufficient information, but it is expecting too much to upload or provide a bunch of documents to a translator and expect them to be ready just when you want them unless you allow time to do a good job.

Tip 4: Proofread and clarify your own material first

Don’t expect even a certified translation service provider to sort out all your own mistakes or cut down the size of a document because much of it is repetitious or unnecessary. These are things that you can do yourself. You are much more likely to get a high-quality translation if you provide a high-quality document for translating in the first place. Translation companies, whether they are large organisations or individual translators charge by the word and will impose a surcharge if your document has to be returned because there are uncertainties or errors detected in it. Your translation quality and the price you have to pay for it is at least partly dependent on the way you present it.


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