Anyone who has ever faced with technical materials in a foreign language knows that the translation of these documents would require a certain art, as well as proper scientific and technical knowledge. Technical translation project always needs to be very carefully planned and paid great attention to detail.
How will you provide the material to be translated?
In order to obtain the translation in time, the editable electronic file is preferable. If the material is a printed copy or a scanned document, you need to specify if the document is available in an editable file format. A translation agency may be able to give you an item of translation or at least estimation from viewing a printed version or a fax, but they cannot fully use the latest automated translation tools without an electronic version of the source text. Tools make the translation process more efficient and help to maintain internal consistency in terminology. If you expect to reuse any content in future translations, working with electronic files is especially important, because translation agencies can support the use of translation memory for the next project.
Who is the target audience?
Is the translation intended for a particular country or region? If your company wants external materials translated for its own use, who is going to use them and for what purpose? For example, a company might want to translate an article about its product from a foreign language for external marketing purposes. This could require a carefully corrected, rapid translation. On the other hand, it can be a translation necessary for internal research. The required level of quality will affect on the price of the project.
Can you provide the agency with any reference materials?
If the material for translation will be about your company’s own products or services, it is probably fulfill with specialized industrial terminology, and also has certain conditions and brand names unique to your company. Company brochures, websites, product photos, previously translated documents, and other materials can provide a context to the translator. If your company has certain style recommendations or glossaries, they should be provided as well. If you cannot answer the questions about the content of the material yourself, you should know who can answer those questions and be able to connect the translation agency with a person or transfer technical questions to them.
When do you need a translation back?
Make sure that you know when the company wants to complete the translation services. If there is a certain deadline. The work may require more time, especially if they do not have experience with the translation or if the project requires additional services, such as consultations with professionals of domain area or localization.
Does the company have its own reviewer?
Sometimes companies’ own reviewers want to check the completed translations. The reviewer, who is also familiar with the industry, can make sure that the terminology is translated correctly and that the style is appropriate for the target audience. It is better to know from the beginning whether the company will use its own reviewer and who will be that reviewer. The translation agency may advise you to prepare and translate the original glossary of commonly used terms. The reviewer must check it before the rest of the translation is completed. In addition, you will want to coordinate process with the reviewer so that the reviewer takes into account necessary time and does not keep the process.
Professional technical translation requires maximum concentration of each project participant. Only team work can help to achieve high results and a high-quality implementation of the translation project. Only teamwork allows avoiding the semantic errors that are considered to be the most dangerous in this type of translation. In many cases, if semantic mistakes were made, the project could incur huge losses and lead the company to serious financial problems. That’s why it’s important not to have just one translator to work on the project, but the whole team.