Buyers of translation services, especially commercial and professional organizations that have an ongoing need for language services, will benefit by keeping the following 3 tips in mind when ordering translation services.
1) Specify the Target Audience
Before the project begins, as an input for the translator take just a minute or two to describe in writing the target audience for the translation. Providing a description of the primary target audience for a translation can be helpful to translators to determine the style, approach, tone, and vocabulary.
There’s no need to write an essay. Just a line or two can be sufficient. A couple examples of a target audience description would be:
- Latin American Spanish language dominant new mothers less than 35 years old living in the US. Elementary grade level reading skills.
- Engineers and technical personnel with college education (Bachelors or higher).
2) Provide Preferred Translation Terminology
If you have preferred translations for some keywords and phrases then provide it upfront at the beginning of a translation project. In the absence of a terminology list translators will make their own determinations based on their personal knowledge, context, and research conducted during the course of the project.
A good practice can be to flag keywords in the source language and arrange for your translator to create a bilingual glossary or list of terminology. Ask for the bilingual glossary translations to be reviewed by a representative member of your target audience. The final approved glossary or terminology list can then be used as a resource for the entire translation project (and if appropriate future projects).
3) Establish A Relationship With Your Project Manager
Project managers are often the interface between translation agency clients and translators. Professional project managers know the wants, needs, and preferences of their clients. They also know the capabilities, specializations, and communication preferences of their translators.
Regular consumers of translation services will sooner or later need a favor. It may be with an expedited project schedule, or some specialized consulting support on a complex project, or any number of unanticipated things that can come up. Take a little time to develop some rapport with your project manager point of contact. It’ll be a worthwhile investment.