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Preparing a Document for Translation: 7 Tips for Project Managers


language translatorWe take as much pleasure in reading bad language translations as the next guy, but we’d never wish this costly misstep on any translator or agency. That’s why we’re sharing seven of George Rimalower’s essential steps for preparing a document for translation. If you prefer to read the lengthier, original article, you’ll find it in the August issue of the ATA Chronicle 

Preparing a Document for Translation: 7 Tips for Project Managers

Review the source document
As you review the source document, check for typos, grammatical errors, and ambiguous language. If you find confusing sections in the source document, collect the necessary reference materials, style guides and glossaries for the translator. If these won’t suffice, contact the client.

Redact any legally compromising content
Always be sure to pull any information that cannot be shared legally. For example, if you’re translating medical documents, always remove the patient’s personal identifying information.

Organize, organize, and organize again
If you’re a large agency, you may be responsible for keeping thousands of documents organized. Creating a “taxonomy of project and purchase order numbers” will help with efficiency and organization.

Be culturally conscious
Documents should be reviewed for words or phrases that could be “lost in translation.” This is especially important when working with marketing materials, as they often use puns and witty aphorisms.

Convert files, if necessary
Some files will need to be prepared before they can be processed by a translation memory (TM) system. A TM is simply a database of words that have been previously translated. This means that you’ll have to convert files into another format: INDD to INX, for example, or IDML and PDF to Word.

Prep the document for pretranslation
Clean up the document before running it through the TM by deleting unnecessary paragraph breaks and making sure that all sentences are segmented properly. After everything is in order, ship to your translator.

Prepare translated document for output
Once you receive the translation back, proof and edit it.



Translation of documents in the legal realm is something that cannot be underestimated. The translator must be careful in interpreting the legal terms used by a particular culture and language.
Posted @ Saturday, September 07, 2013 2:50 AM by NAATI translation
Those are very helpful tips indeed. I would also recommend that the Project Manager maintain frequent contact with the translators in order to avoid delays and misunderstandings. Once the deadline is looming near, send out reminders to your translators. If one translators asks for clarifications, communicate the answers to all the translators in order to maintain consistency across languages.
Posted @ Sunday, September 08, 2013 4:19 AM by Clinical Trial Translation
Good advice. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! 
-The OnlineGrad Team
Posted @ Tuesday, September 10, 2013 8:26 AM by Ryan O'Rourke
Great tips! Thanks for sharing. 
Whenever I can, I also remove doubles spaces (& space+period, double period, etc.) before pre-translation.  
In my opinion, it is also useful to send a standardized Questions & Answers file to the translators.
Posted @ Friday, September 13, 2013 8:50 AM by Fred Condette
Thanks for your insight, Fred!
Posted @ Friday, September 13, 2013 8:52 AM by Ryan O'Rourke
Me and my friend were fighting about an problem related to this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for the information you article. Yours trully.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 01, 2013 1:54 PM by bedding
Hello Friends, 
I am a newcomer in translation work, it was a great pleasure to read your comments. We appreciate you your submit. I am going to absolutely gain. These tips are really so useful for project manager.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 06, 2013 4:00 AM by TLC UK Translation Services
I honestly appreciate your blog.The blog gives valuable information on translation.
Posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 1:37 AM by Jolie Cameron
As a translator I want to say that most of our time is wasted in « correcting » and « arranging » rather than actually translating the document. The person sending the document for translation does not necessarily know what is needed whcih creates allot of problems.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 31, 2013 6:51 AM by Mike
You have share very good knowledge regarding translation services.
Posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 12:12 AM by anurag
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