Whether you’re negotiating with an overseas supplier or hiring from abroad, translation can be an important skill in business. However, there’s more to consider than just hiring a translator. This article will look at seven tips for effective business translation.
Find your translation company well in advance
The sooner you start searching for a translator, the better. Many translators in a particular field have regular commitments with clients and are unavailable when you might need them, so don’t leave it to chance. Contact translationcompanies with your requirements. The sooner they can start finding a translator for you, the more options you will have.
Avoid Google Translate if possible
While it’s tempting to turn to Google Translate when you need a quick translation, it should be avoided where possible. Google Translate uses technology that allows the text to be translated into another language in an automated way (and is, therefore, faster than a human translator). However, Google Translate often has problems with idioms and formatting, meaning your document may not come across as you expect.
Use better machine translation
If Google Translate is your only option, use a better machine translation tool instead. These tools have many of the same drawbacks as Google Translate but are generally more reliable. For example, Smartling is used by companies around the world to improve the business translation.
Define your house style
If you work with translators regularly, it is important to have a house style that everyone is familiar with. Your house style will define how the company wants its messages to be presented in another language and will also save time as translators won’t have to guess how things should be translated when they receive a document. This should be completed before hiring any translators.
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Think about localization
Translation is not just about the words being used but also the format and presentation of that content. For example, Google Translate will display Chinese in a certain way that looks similar to English. However, it doesn’t take into consideration things like using Pinyin for Chinese or Arabic numerals for numbers. If you are trying to reach an overseas audience specifically, always think about localization when translating your documents.
Hire internal translators
Hiring someone from inside the company – such as a marketing director or sales manager with good language skills – could be both cheaper and more effective. They will understand your business and know how you want to sound to your customers. This is especially useful for B2B translations where the wording can really make or break a sale. An internal employee with language skills may be more expensive to hire than an employee without. But it will still be more cost-effective than hiring external translators.
Plan your translation schedule in advance
There are a number of factors that will affect how long it takes for your translation to be finished. These include the language combination, subject matter, and formatting. Check with your translator when they expect to finish the job, and then add some time (up to a week) on top of this for proofreading and final corrections.