Inaccurate translation of your corporate materials can result in serious consequences that cascade throughout your organization. Translation errors may result in missing sales targets, exposing your company to litigation, or failure to protect your organization in the event of a business dispute. Your professional translation services partner plays an essential role in guarding against inaccuracy and, by extension, protecting your company.
Here are our eight proven tips to minimize risk for your next corporate translation project.
1. Improve visibility by using project management software
The more corporate materials in process with your language services provider, the harder it becomes to track each one. Robust project management software can keep your team informed of the status of every project so you are aware of how close each project is to completion.
Keeping an eye on the translation workflow minimizes the amount of back-and-forth between you and your translation partner and ensures your team (and theirs) has full visibility into projects that need more attention.
2. Establish check-in points
Set check-in points with your translation provider, especially for long-term projects, at least a month-long for translation or longer.
Project management software can give you a sense of where each item is in the queue. But speaking directly to your project manager can resolve questions quickly and reveal areas requiring more attention from your team or theirs.
Though delays are always possible corporate translation projects are most successful when everyone understands the “why” behind any hiccups. Don’t hesitate to ask, “Is there anything I’m not thinking of?” Use your translation partner’s experience to your advantage.
3. Limit your engagements to one or two trusted translation partners
Distributing piecemeal materials to multiple translation partners can compromise consistency and accuracy. It also means that you’re unable to take advantage of translation memory and other valuable cost-saving language asset management practices. Starting from scratch with a new partner for every translation team – or bouncing between providers who promise the fastest delivery – undermines the strength of the working relationship.
Centralizing your translation partners enables your company to establish a strong professional relationship and rhythm that will get more fluid over time.
4. Work with ISO-certified translation companies
Corporate translation is both an art and a science, however, your professional translation services partner should have a detailed process in place to ensure quality. Independent ISO verification means your partner has established verifiable, repeatable processes…
At Morningside, we maintain multiple ISO certifications for general quality standards, translation processes, data security and quality standards related to medical devices.
5. Use glossaries and term-bases
Differences in preferred terminology can increase risk exposure, particularly for companies operating globally. Even within the same language, regional differences and departmental preferences can impact the reception of your final translated materials.
Solicit and consolidate feedback from your team, then share this information with your professional translation services partner. Your translation partner will establish organization-specific glossaries and term-bases to save time and ensure phrases meet translation expectations for all stakeholders and end-users.
6. Review source materials closely before translation
The authoring and review of source materials play a significant role in corporate document translation. Every company has its own set of acronyms, internal jargon, and company program names. Many of these words may not directly translate into a foreign language – or the literal translation could create confusion.
Before submitting your source documents for professional translation services, scan your materials for internal terminology that should be clarified in the source materials. Addressing questions in the source language is easier than returning to translated materials to re-clarify.
Additionally, look for aspects of your materials that aren’t necessarily language-specific, such as date formatting and requests for region-specific information (ex. “area code” or “SSN”). These elements should be adjusted for the target country before beginning translation.
7. Let your translation partner know if you want to be involved in the review
Reputable professional translation services companies will work with in-country native speakers who are also subject matter experts in your industry. However, members of your team who also speak the target language, understand the cultural implications of your materials and know your company/product – can be hugely valuable to your corporate translation project.
Let your translation company know your team will be involved in the review process to incorporate this phase into the project’s timeline.
8. Communication is key
Business translation projects are most successful when your team and your partner’s teams are aligned. If you are unsure about something, do not be afraid to ask. Your translation services partner should always keep you in the loop. It’s always better to over-share than to proceed under false assumptions. Working side-by-side with an attentive, experienced translation team protects the accuracy of your materials and your company’s reputation.