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Leading Edge Processes in Translation

Effective management saves time and money

When effective translation processes are implemented, they have a direct impact on the quality of the final result. Efficient project managers coordinate resources to meet customer expectations, and ensure productivity and cost-effectiveness. Regardless of the quality of a translator’s work, if management is not adequate, the results can be disastrous. Whereas optimised project management processes create workflows that save time and money.

The more complicated the project, the more important it is to choose a leading edge Language Service Provider (LSP). Before selecting an LSP, quiz them about their translation processes and ask about their internal procedures. The speed and completeness of their responses will be in themsleves indicators of their professionalism. Avoid problems, extra costs and frustration by looking for these seven characteristics in their processes:

1. Proactive customer service

Prompt responses in the early stages (analysis and quoting) are a good indication that you have found a reliable partner. A company that takes more than 24 hours to respond to an e-mail is probably not well organised, nor customer-focused.

2. Research

When projects are analysed and your expectations are taken into consideration from the start, chances are that the final result will meet them. If your document requires specialised knowledge — for example, legal or medical expertise — then the LSP should be using a translator specialised in this area.

3. Use of industry- or client-specific terminology

Creating a a glossary will ensure the consistent use of key terms. This glossary should, of course, be created before the translator begins work! Using a client-specific Translation Memory — a database which stores all the translations pertaining to a particular client — will ensure that the terminology and brand messaging is consistent in all translations for them.

Find out more: Creating a Translation Memory for new clients

4. Proofreading and Technical review

Translations should be inspected for technical accuracy in the target language. It is often useful to have an in-house reviewer for this — such as your own technician or engineer — if not, a specialised reviewer should be used.

Documents should always be reviewed by a professional linguist for accuracy, grammar and punctuation. Also, it’s important that the language reflects your company’s Brand style and image.

For more on this topic: The role of the Internal Reviewer | Internal Review Case Study

5. Formatting

Translated texts should be formatted correctly so the original layout and design remains unchanged. This might mean adjusting the spacing to accommodate a translation that has a higher word count than the original — for example English to Spanish; or “flipping” the entire design to accommodate right-to-left languages, such as Arabic or Hebrew.

Documents should be delivered in a format ready for printing or online deployment (or both), as appropriate.

6. Meeting deadlines

A solid track record of timely deliveries will give you confidence that your supplier will deliver your project before you need it! Ask your supplier what percentage of projects they deliver on time.

Find out more: Managing the Translation Timeline

7. ISO Certification

ISO 9001 is a set of international standards which measure quality management and quality assurance systems, within organisations. As a third-party certification, it authenticates a company’s adherence to a well-defined, well-documented set of procedures which facilitate the delivery of high-quality products and services. ISO 9001 focuses on process management, and considers a company as a whole — a ‘nexus’ of flows and processes, all of which should be optimised, both individually and in relation to each other.

Find out more: ISO 9001 Certification


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