Do you frequently find yourself watching that clock at work? Not just because your stomach is anticipating lunchtime, but because you’re constantly awaiting the arrival of your translation requests? If you’re responsible for submitting translation projects, you’re probably all too familiar with this boring scene.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
If you’re tired of twiddling your thumbs and waiting around for your translation provider to return your translated content, you might be interested in a few ways to help speed up the translation process and get your project requests back sooner. Rather than continuing to waste time, here are five tips to help make your translation cycle much less time consuming.
If you’re responsible for creating the content that could eventually be translated, you have a direct impact on how painless and timely a translation project can be for a linguist. For example, content packed with region-specific jargon, cultural references and colloquialisms, such as “old as the hills” or “pop” interchanged with “soda,” can confuse foreign readers – making the translation process more complicated for the linguist.
Try to keep messaging clear and concise when possible by authoring outside of your corporate or regional mindset. Also keep cultural sensitivities in mind – such as images, colors or gender norms that may not be appropriate or relevant in other countries. Professional linguists will always address these types of authoring particulars when translating, but if you address them first in the initial drafting process, it will help speed up the translation process.
Translation requestors sometimes forget that content formats and file types are not as easily interchangeable when it comes to translation and localization. If you’re working within complex file types and design formats it can make it more difficult for your translation providers to extract text, images and other elements for translations. To help avoid these types of setbacks, it’s best to discuss with your translation provider the different types of files or formats you plan on submitting, so they can assign the necessary experts and creation tools beforehand. While leading translation providers are able to work with most file and format types, this kind of communication helps to address any potential accessibility delays before they happen.
Translation providers are also more than willing to share advice on particular authoring layouts that go hand-in-hand with localization. For example, using XML for authoring gives content complete flexibility, so your translation provider can work more freely with the content and avoid hiccups in the translation process. Just ask your provider if there are any creation adjustments you can implement as a requestor that might help make the translation cycle run more smoothly.
Your company’s translation memory is a valuable tool to help keep translation costs to a minimum, but it also directly affects how accurately your translation timelines can be met. If linguists are expected to work with a disorganized, outdated translation memory, it forces them to weed through conflicting translation segments – slowing down their typical translation cycle. On top of that, a disorderly translation memory leads to inconsistently translated content, which affects the quality of your translation deliverables across all project types. Since consistent brand messaging is important no matter which industry you’re in, this increases the likelihood that you’ll be dissatisfied with your translated content and burdened with needing additional rework. If you’re afraid your translation memory isn’t up to par, work with your translation provider to determine the best way to start the clean-up process, so you don’t have to worry about it delaying the translation cycles on your future projects.
Make sure your final projects are final – meaning the content you are handing over to your translation provider is complete and ready to be translated. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for translation requestors to submit translation projects that are incomplete, missing elements or not up-todate – and then, following translation and desktop publishing, they request changes. Not good. This throws the necessary translation cycle out of whack – causing your translation provider to backtrack on the steps they have already completed in order to address content changes. Not only does this heighten the potential for error and inconsistency, it will undoubtedly extend your translation cycle.
It’s a best practice to set up a mandatory approval step before submitting translation projects, so you’re not faced with having to halt translations mid-project. It’s also important to set up a final approval process following the translation cycle. Most translation providers can prequalify translation reviewers for you and include their work in your translation timelines, but if you’re using your own internal reviewers for the approval step, make sure they are in sync with your translation provider’s cycle, so waiting around for your translation’s final approval isn’t an issue.
Submitting projects, contacting vendors and routing to approvers – these are all steps in the translation process that take time out of your day. Luckily, certain translation providers (like Amplexor) are familiar with these time-consuming processes and have adopted automation capabilities that help eliminate them. For example, if you use a translation management system to submit your translation project, you can then watch as it is automatically routed to translators, editors and approvers – giving you real-time visibility into the status of your project. Have multiple projects to request? No problem – each of them can be added to the system, routed through the translation process and then returned to you when complete – so you don’t have to worry about files getting misplaced, communications being lost or, sometimes most importantly, timelines being missed. Talk to your translation provider about the automation capabilities that make sense for your translation processes, so you can start eliminating the routine tasks out of your everyday work.
So, what are you still waiting for? Speed up your translation cycles by following these five tips – which will benefit linguists, maintain an orderly process and eliminate inconsistencies with your translation vendor – ultimately resulting in you getting your content back sooner.
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