Employee Handbook Translation Questions

So your company need its employee handbook translated, into Spanish most likely if you operate in the United States, and you’re in charge. So what’s next?

If your company already has an established association with a translation services provider you’ll likely contact them and request a quote for their services. If the quote is reasonable and you’ve experienced good results with the company’s services in the past then you’re set. You approve the quote and wait for the completed Spanish translation file of your existing English language employee handbook. Mission accomplished!

A standard quality control measure in human translation services is post-translation proofreading of translations performed by a second translator, of course native speaking in the target language.

If on the other hand you have no go-to vendor for translation services then your next step might be to perform an internet search. After identifying a potential company or two that can do the job you might want to ask a few basic questions about their services in order to make a final decision about which one to hire. Below are a few questions you might ask.

  • Are your translators experienced with translation of employee handbooks?

Professional translators often have specializations in the type of work they perform. Some specialize in translation of technical documents. Some might gravitate more toward non-technical product marketing materials. Still others tend to work with translation of legal texts, contracts and related materials. So the assigned translator(s) will ideally have experience in translation of employee handbooks and be comfortable with the standard texts which are similar in many cases.

employee handbook translation questions

  • Are proofreading services included?

A standard quality control measure in human translation services is post-translation proofreading of translations performed by a second translator, of course native speaking in the target language. Translations are seldom perfect in their original form. They require proofreading and typically light editing before arriving at a finalized translation suitable for operational use. So ask about the translation company’s policy for providing a quality assurance measures in the form of proofreading services.

  • Will the completed translated document be formatted and ready for immediate use?

Employee handbooks follow a prescribed organization and formatting as established in the source English language document. Most commonly employee handbooks are prepared as MS Word documents. Sometimes employee handbooks receive the additional formatting attention made possible through desktop publishing applications such as InDesign. In the latter case formatting can require a little more attention in the final stages following translation and proofreading. It’s a good idea to ask about document formatting at the very beginning of a project. Make sure formatting of the final document is included although be aware that in the case of English-to-Spanish translation services there tends to be more words required in Spanish so the actual word count and page length of the resulting translation file might expand in the 10-15% range relative to the original English version.

 

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