Document Translation Services
The first thing to remember is that translators and interpreters are different language professionals with different skills. An interpreter performs his or her work on the spot, usually while present at an event, appointment, or meeting, but also via online platforms. The role of interpreters is to verbally translate what is being said. Translators work with all types of documents, i.e., the written rather than the spoken word. This means that translators have more time to finesse what they produce. A good one will work hard to choose the right phrasing and terminology to ensure a faithful translation that is also suited to the target audience’s culture and expectations.
The job of our professional project managers is to guide your project to a finished translated document that will make you proud. They will see to it that no detail of the translated document is missed as they follow your files through the entire translation process. They also make sure that the most qualified linguists are chosen so that all stages; translation, editing, proofreading, quality assurance (QA), and document finalization, are completed successfully and to a high standard.
Don’t Let It Happen to Your Documents
We’ve all seen a cringeworthy example of a document or signage that is poorly translated. An authentic and professional document translation can prevent such embarrassment! It doesn’t matter how perfect, effective, or well-presented your original document is, if the translation quality is subpar, the message will not get across to your international readers. Joining forces with a language service provider (LSP) means that your documents go through QA and extra checks before they are delivered to you.
Protect Your Investment
You’ve invested carefully in important documents and projects like press releases, newsletters, statements from the CEO, and other pertinent publications, and now your project is ready for an international audience. You want your project to cross over to a new language audience, whether it is a brilliant scientific theory, important new health protocol, carefully constructed legal document, or thrilling novel—but it can only happen if the translation is an authentic representation of your ideas. Certified translators are trained to write in the appropriate style for each document. It could be one writing style for promoting a trusted financial institution, like a bank, and another style altogether for promoting a sports car.
Professional Treatment of Your Documents
Carefully choose the level of translation you want, based on the final use of your project. The more people who will be viewing your project, the better the translation should be. For instance:
- TEP (translation, editing, proofreading) — for publication , for publication.
- General Translation, for reporting or legal purposes, e.g., certificates
- The Gist, the essentials of documents you want to know more about, but do not intend to share
If the piece to be translated is important, in other words if large numbers of customers or partners will be reading it, then the translation needs to be top-notch. Work with translators you know and trust. A translator who is familiar with your mission and vision can deliver your message as intended. Don’t forget to pass on clear instructions and guidance to your translation partner; glossaries and style guides are invaluable resources.
Special Characters and Typography—Our Specialty
To reach the speakers of different languages, your document must be delivered in a way that is accessible—not just in terms of the translation itself, but also typography, which can vary dramatically from one language to another. Consider the different characters used for Chinese or Japanese languages and the fact that some languages, like Hebrew, are written from right to left. To get this just right, Capital Linguists strongly suggests the TEP process. This process is the standard industry practice for delivering your important documents to a new audience with confidence. You likely do not need to use the TEP process if the translation is simply for business purposes, such as reports, meeting minutes, and so on. These are often translated from a foreign language into your own to allow for monitoring of what branch offices or the competition is doing.
How Much Does Translation Cost?
Compared to the impromptu performance of a simultaneous interpreter, the product of a translator is like a great work of art, labored over and perfected in every detail—ideas, choice of words, and impact on speakers of the new language. Translation and editing are typically charged by the word, and the rate depends on the language(s) and combinations, number of words, timeframe, and the subject matter of your project. We’ll provide a quick and accurate quote on your translation project. The rate per word factors in project management, the intended audience, and whether the piece will be published in print or on the web. Desktop publishing (DTP) services are available to ensure that your target documents closely mirror the source and are appropriate for a new audience.
Prepare to Enter the International Market
The key to a great translation is a measured and dignified approach. Allow a realistic lead time and provide a polished original document for the translators to work from. Try to keep changes to the original document in the midst of translating to a minimum, and always advise your LSP of anything that has changed. Making a translation request at the last minute is not unheard of (normally when legal, medical, and other time-sensitive translations are needed), but a decent translation for publication anywhere takes time, so send the document for translation well before you need it. Errors have a way of sneaking into documents just before publication, so make sure you have a professional linguist carry out a quick proofreading first. Additionally, being prepared to answer questions and provide further context is always a good idea. A request for more information from a linguist is a good sign since it means he or she is attentive and committed to delivering exactly what you are expecting.
Do You Speak International SEO?
Websites need special treatment when they are translated—or localized. Localization refers to making all aspects of your product or concept local, rather than global, in character, with the end goal being to appropriately and comfortably appeal to the target culture and language. The complexity and relationships between each of the linked files is a special challenge, but a familiar one at Capital Linguists. It is not enough to translate only the text that is human-visible. All data that search engines take into account for search engine optimization (SEO) must be translated as well. It just makes sense that your website, in the new language, should be responsive to searches by native speakers in that site’s language. Localization fails if the following details have not been considered:
- File Names and Links
- Text in Images
It is best practice to translate all your titles, keywords, and description tags. Remember, search engines are very literal when it comes to SEO, and the keywords must work in the target language. A thorough translation of your site is the only way your international audience will be able to find it.
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