This guide is designed to help you improve your decision making process when it comes to navigating your options for translating your materials, whether they are intended for the local Australasian or global market. AALC members are welcomed to provide feedback via e-mail.
Are you a …
Government Traveller Charity Service Provider Business Migrant Not For Profit Writer
Multinational Company Bank Financial Services Provider Legal Services Provider
Do you need to …
Interact with your clients sell to customers promote policy inform deal with government export
Then you need a translation
The table below summarises the recommendations of this guide depending on your requirements: ✓ Good choice. ✓ Possible choice, with considerations to be made. X Not recommended
|Your Requirement:||Use Language Service Provider||Use Professional Translator||Use Very Low Cost Translator||Use Bilingual Speaker||Use Google Translate|
|Get the gist of a sentence, a few words||X||X||X||✓||✓|
|Get the gist of a document, form||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Medical, legal, business context||✓||✓||X||X||X|
|Professional quality of text||✓||✓||X||X||X|
|Certification of doc||✓||✓||X||X||X|
|Liability, insurance etc||✓||✓||X||X||X|
|Use of tech for consistency, efficiency||✓||✓||X||X||X|
|Safeguard your corporate image||✓||✓||X||X||X|
Communicating in the recipients’ mother tongue creates buy in that you cannot get in any other way. Whether you are a government agency or social service association, get the whole message across correctly and communicate tax compliance, immunisation benefits. If you are in business, increase your sales potential by having your customers understand your message.
75% of customers want products in their native language.
Mobility and technology are changing the way we all communicate and interact with each other as neighbours and on a global scale. With the rise of multiculturalism, social media, network marketing, smart phone and computing technologies, it has never been easier to get your message out there – and it has never been harder to be heard.
The Professional Choice: Using a Reputable Language Service Provider
Language Service Providers (LSPs) are much more than translation agencies. Using an LSP can be of considerable benefit and provide you with a full service for all your language needs.
People + Technology + Processes: client outcomes with superior return on investment
The Language Service Provider Added Value Chain
Quick Technology Reference Guide:
- Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools are tools designed to assist a translator in doing his/her work with increased efficiency, accuracy and consistency.
- Translation Memory (TM) software remembers word, phrases and sentences and previously translated and offers them as a suggestion to the translator for review.
- Machine Translation (MT) uses algorithms and large databases to draft large volume translations for subsequent review by an editor.
Using a Professional Freelancer:
Professional translators have the writing, research and presentation skills to produce translations that are fit for purpose. They are trained, their skills are tested and they continue to participate in professional development programs aimed at language professionals throughout their careers.
Many successful freelancers will specialise in a particular niche of the industry, such as legal, medical, engineering, scientific or technical translations, and most will translate exclusively from other languages into their native language, although there are still many who can translate in both directions. Some linguists come to the profession through studying and working in a specialised area combined with a multicultural background, so a relevant degree can also be a good indication of ability if you require a specialist in a certain niche.
Certification alone denotes a professional level of competency although not necessarily a level of quality assurance. Freelance translators operate individually so you may wish to contact several for quotes in order to get a feel for them and their own quality assurance processes, their responsiveness and professionalism.
Using a freelancer requires you to consider their accountability and liability if something goes wrong; you can check to see if they have professional indemnity insurance, and ask about their quality assurance processes such as proofreading and revision.
Using a Very Low Cost Translator: In these challenging economic times, it’s important to be cost-conscious, but getting the best value for your money involves more than just being able to identify a price that is too high — it’s also about knowing when a price is too low. We know this instinctively; products and services being sold far below commonly accepted rates naturally raise our suspicions. When we see a too-good-to-be-true price, we immediately wonder “What’s the catch?”
Using a Bilingual Non-Professional Translator: Using a bilingual non-professional to work on translations can be done in circumstances where the quality of the translation is not paramount. Typically, this would happen when the translation is only needed for the purposes of gaining a general understanding of a text and if it is not to be used in an official capacity. While bilingual people are able to take their own thoughts and ideas and express them orally in two different languages, they are not necessarily trained at grasping the meaning of a text and rendering it accurately, effectively and without distortion into another language.
Quick and Easy – Google Translate and similar online tools: Google Translate is such a well known service that even though it can produce some very strange turns of phrase, it should be included as an option if you just want to understand the gist of a few words here and there. Even then, it can produce some aberrant results, so watch out! Google Translate looks for patterns in millions of online documents to generate its best guess at a translation without human involvement.
Checklist to a successful translation project
- Consider translations right from the beginning of a project, rather than as an afterthought when your project is ready in its original language. LSPs are happy to assist.
- What does the translation need to be.
- Rough understanding of text
- Translation: communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text.
- Certified translation: translation that is certified to be accurate by a person qualified to do so.
- Transcreation: adapting a text from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone, and context.
- Identify the purpose of your translation.
- Who will use the translation?
- What do you need the translation to be (certification, transcreation, rough understanding)?
- Where will the translation be used?
- When do you need the translation?
- Why do you need the translation?
- What is your budget?
- Use this guide to choose your preferred type of provider.
- Select your provider on the basis of your requirements. Whilst cost will be a determinant, it should not be the only selection criteria.
- Work with your provider. When working with professionals and LSPs there is things you can do to aid the process.
- Plan ahead and start the translation early
- Discuss with your provider the intended use and purpose of the work to be translated
- Provide materials in editable form (eg text files), rather than scanned images
- Have reference materials ready, including past translations and Translation Memories if consistency with prior work is important
- Prepare to manage 360 degrees feedback between the translator, project manager, yourself and other stakeholders in your organisation
- Receive your translation and start to communicate with your stakeholders and customers.
- If you are satisfied with your deliverable, consider a longer-term business relationship with your language service provider.
Distribution and intellectual property: Translation Buyers’ Guide, version 1. This document may be distributed freely in one of the forms published by the AALC without changes. © AALC, 2018-2020. www.aalc.co.nz