Although professional translators will always do their best to translate your documents and deliver them to you as quickly as they can, if you check the documents carefully before sending them to the translators, you may further speed up the translation turnover and avoid any unnecessary hassle. Here’s a checklist for you to prepare your documents for translation.
Review the documents carefully before it’s sent to translators
If the documents are your original works, and not a legal or medical document you obtain from another party, make sure that you check your works carefully before they are sent to the translator. If possible, you may ask your colleagues to review the documents for you. A few typos are fine, but if there are wrong wordings or misused expressions throughout the documents, the translators may have to pause the translation and contact you regarding the wordings. The process can be quite time-consuming, as you and the translators may have different schedules and as a result the responding time may be long.
Ensure that the document is valid and can serve the purpose before it’s sent to translators
Sometimes people are told that the documents already translated are not eligible for serving the legal or medical purpose only after they submit the documents to the institutions. Legal or medical policies may change over time, and you should ensure that the documents themselves fulfill the requirements and are able to serve your purposes before you send them for translation. Information on the internet may not be always correct or up-to-date, and it’s safe to directly contact the institution receiving the documents to confirm if the documents on hand are valid.
In addition, make sure that you know whether the documents need to be notarized. Notarization may take additional time, and it also takes several days for the documents to be mailed to your address. Considering the mailing time, if you send the wrong document and need to replace it with the right one and get notarization later, there may be a long delay before you can have the valid documents on hand.
Check the format supported by the translators
If what you need to translate is more than a file with plain text, make sure to check with the translators if they support the file type and can keep its original format when they translate.
Companies seeking for localization often need their brochures and manuals to be translated, in which there are quite a few images with text to be translated on them; however, if the text on the pictures cannot be properly translated and then put back to the picture with the format unchanged after translation, the brochures would be useless for the company. Not all the translators are ready to translate words on a picture while keeping its original format, and additional formatting cost may incur even if they are able to do so. It’s important to confirm with the translators if they support the file type and keep the format, and you definitely don’t want to compromise the quality of your works if the translators cannot format the translated works well.
Prepare a glossary if necessary
If there’s a team member in your team knows the languages and the best word selections for translation, or there are translated documents already in use, you may create a glossary accordingly. Most of the time this is not a necessary procedure, but if you believe the documents to be translated involve concepts or terminologies that the translator without much experience in that industry may not know, and you have the capability for creating a glossary, you may do so and send it to the translator.
Although the translators may still be able to translate the works without a glossary, they may not use the most appropriate wording or expression that you actually prefer. Additionally, it may take longer for them to complete the works.
Communicate with translators about all your needs in advance
Before you place an order for translation, make sure you confirm with the company that it can accommodate all your needs besides translating the documents. Don’t assume that they are able to do an additional task for you even if it’s really a simple one. For example, translators may not be allowed to add any sentence not from the original documents to the translated works in notarized translation; Moreover, only the translation, not the original documents, can be notarized by the translator.
If it’s a time-sensitive project, make sure that the turnaround time would be fast enough, and you may want to select the fastest shipping method if you are to receive a notarized translation.