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What Your End-Client Should Know about Translation…


It all starts with one thing, effective communication. Effective communication is a key component of all relationships, whether personal or professional. The same is true when you find yourself tasked with carrying out a multilingual translation project with countless moving parts and multiple teams involved. This valuable skill becomes even more important in situations where you yourself are not the end-client, but rather your new big client is, as is often the case for international PR, marketing and global services firms. Dynamics like these can prove inherently difficult to navigate at times, so being able to effectively communicate yourself and making sure to set the proper expectations with your client from the get-go will help ensure they are clear regarding what is involved in the translation process and will allow you to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion.

As a result of working a lot with clients that regularly operate in this fashion, I’ve created a list of helpful tips to better prepare your end-client and the multiple other teams involved when taking on a new project. The main objective here is to maximize translation budget and project timeline and reduce stress by way of proper planning and the elimination of redundancy. Following these steps will not only make servicing your client easier, but you’ll be fostering a more effective working relationship and ensuring a pleasant and efficient translation experience for all parties involved.

Step One – Planning. When planning a new project that will require translation, first thing’s first, make certain the translation component is factored into the scope/timeline of the project. Make sure to understand how your client is hoping to benefit from translation and have a very solid understanding of project drivers and target audience. This way you can pass this important information along to the team involved in carrying out the translation. When planning the timeline of the project and its respective deadlines, it is also very beneficial to provide your client with a baseline regarding the time implications of the translation process.  Here at Trusted Translations we utilize a 3-step process—translation, editing and proofreading. Generally speaking, a translator can translate around 2,500 words/day, an editor can edit 5,000 words/day, and a proofreader can proofread 10,000 words/day. Although this will vary from project to project, this will give you an approximate idea of a reasonable time table for the project and will aid in setting the proper expectations from the get-go.

Step Two – Quoting. Make sure to consider the following pointers in the planning of when and how to send your files over for a quotation. Helping to educate your client on these few tips not only will help you stay better aligned throughout the process, but also help you steer clear of planning oversights that can lead to unanticipated costs and delays down the road. When in the quoting stage, the best practice is to always send the editable, launch-ready file. That means that all the content is finalized and set within the finalized creative templates, in an editable format. Coordinating to have the finalized content and art work ready means less back and forth e-mailing with updates where things can sometimes fall through the cracks.  Providing editable source files and images (if applicable) means that we can plan for translating the content directly within the finalized file while respecting the formatting and art work. This practice, contrary to sending non-editable files, reduces the amount of work necessary on our end and represents the more cost/time effective option.

Step Three – Project Launch. Collectively, all of the things mentioned above will create an environment where the translation team can work in as organized and efficient a fashion as possible, allowing for both optimal service and a more seamless launch!

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