How do you define a quality translation?
It could be some simple product directions that make sense in another language—something free of grammatical errors. Maybe it’s a highly technical document that requires very precise terminology in order to pass strict international regulations. Or perhaps it’s a global ad campaign that evokes such strong emotion, it brings tears to the eyes of viewers in France, China, and Brazil.
The definition of translation quality—and its value—varies greatly depending on content type, end user, and business goals. A quality translation to one person could look like a feeble attempt at translation to another.
No one understands your brand—or your business goals—better than you. So it’s important that your quality expectations are communicated properly to your LSP at the start of the translation process.
Here are some tips to help improve communication, simplify review cycles, and ensure quality translations:
- Provide your LSP with examples of previous translations that meet your quality expectations (plus examples of some that don’t).
- Encourage in-country reviewers and lead translators to establish working relationships (they may be in the same locales).
- Make sure that your in-country reviewers fully understand corporate style guidelines and have collaborated on the creation of approved glossaries.
- Provide brand guidelines to help translators and reviewers understand your brand identity and voice.
- Grant your LSP or translator access to your staging server to review content in context—and to your web apps for reviewing and testing UI text elements.
- Supply quality source content (it won’t improve in another language).
- Give translators and in-country reviewers a reasonable amount of time to complete their work.
- Communicate regularly with your LSP’s project manager.
- Work toward a long-term relationship with your provider: Quality improves the more familiar they become with your business, content, and terminology.
- Assign a point person that your LSP can reach out to for questions and clarification.
High quality translations—however they’re defined—enable you to achieve your business goals. When your translations perform well in-market, you’re able to maintain a consistent brand voice while communicating a message that resonates with local audiences. Quality is key.
To learn more about best practices for ensuring quality translations, see The Definitive Guide to Website Translation.