The top 10 key considerations for exceptional localization & translation

Article posted by Robert Gorby, on behalf of SDL Plc

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10 tips for translation and localization

It’s fair to say, most businesses don’t recognize the value of translation until they can’t be understood. With 72% of internet users preferring a language other than English, how much content is translated and the quality standard to which it is completed is critical to successfully growing brands and businesses.

For your customers to truly resonate with your brand and messaging, simply translating all content isn’t good enough. Good quality localization is essential in order to make an impact.

Here is our simple 10-point checklist to ensure your translation & localization is of high quality, accurate and fit for purpose in your local market of choice.

1. Prioritize your content

With the explosion in format, velocity and variety of content, simply applying a human translation to everything may not be the most efficient way. Applying the most appropriate translation method, whether that’s Machine Translation (MT), Human Translation or a Post-Edited Machine Translation (PEMT) is the surest way to get the best value for money.

2. Freelance or In-House?

A good question to ask your LSP (Language Service Provider) is whether they use freelancers or in-house translators. Freelancers can be a cost-effective way to get things done, but in-house ownership delivers right-first-time quality and consistency.

3. Centralize budgets, workflows, and decision making

When budgets, workflows and decision-making that enable localization are fragmented, organizations cannot combine resources to impact a market effectively. Not only is more time required to manage the various components of the process, but cost savings that could be realized through combined translation memories are relinquished.

4. Get the right skills to match the task

Certain industries require specific skills and knowledge for the nature of the translation. I.e. a translation for a legal or marketing purpose. Costs can differ depending on the specialism of the translator, so check you’re getting the right skills for the right task.

5. Invest in Translation Memory

A translation memory (TM) is a database that stores segments of source language text alongside their translated counterparts. It’s your way to progressively reduce costs by reusing previously translated material. And if it’s your intellectual property, you can switch language service providers and transfer it across.

6. Terminology

Terminology can be described on a basic level as a vocabulary of words, terms and phrases that are used for a specific industry or organization. Establishing an effective way of managing your company’s terminology means reduced costs, clearer messages and greater reuse when it comes to translation.

7.Style Guides

Establish a dedicated style guide for multilingual content which sets the standards for writing and designing documents. Style guidelines may take time to create, but writing with translation in mind from the off can save money in the long run. Greater consistency and writing for a global audience = cost-effective, easier to translate content.

8. Is your translation proofed and reviewed?

A key question to ask any language service provider is if your translated content will be checked by a second linguist. Or even the same linguist. Or will it not be reviewed at all? And do they have ISO 9001 processes and standards? A second set of eyes on a translated piece of content be extremely useful when it comes to executing the best quality.

9. Advise your LSP about the format/source content

Providing content in its native file format will keep down reformatting costs when it comes to your translated content. That means providing your LSP with original source files, editable images, along with any fonts which will make the process of translation much quicker and much more cost effective. If not, you will need to factor in the cost, time and complications of converting the text for desktop publishing.

10. Can your LSP handle it?

We all have urgent deadlines and special requirements from time to time and some LSP’s won’t be able to handle sheer volume or complexity. It’s worth asking: how many freelancers/in-house translators do they have? Can they support all languages and specialisations? In short, can they grow with your business?

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