Many companies are now streamlining translations, so that their content is readable to wider audiences. In fact, around 56,846 businesses in the US are offering language services, thus making translation and interpreting a global $33.5 billion industry.
As a result, there’s now a constant need to better streamline how businesses hire translation companies to do the grunt work of translating their content. Therefore, workflows have been made to better streamline translations – going from Point A to Point B, and then (in this case) going back to Point A. Essentially, it’s a buyer-translator workflow – businesses like yourself are the “buyers,” and translating companies are the “sellers.”
In this article, you’ll be introduced to what goes on in a translation workflow, from start to finish. As we explore this workflow, we’ll divide it into 5 different phases. Let’s jump right in!
- Determining The Relationship Between Content And Translation
First, think about setting up how the relationship between the content and translation will look like. Do this, before you send content to your Language Services Provider (LSP).
Keep the following questions in mind, when setting up the relationship:
- What are your expectations, when it comes to how the content will be translated?
- What things do you expect the LSP to do with your content when translating it?
- What are the expectations of the other party (i.e. a client, customer, etc.) that you’re translating the content for?
Therefore, put everyone’s expectations in perspective, and then work to translate content that would work out for everyone involved.
- Sending Content To Be Translated
Once you establish a relationship between your content and the translation company(ies) that you eventually hire, you’ll create the workflow infrastructure. In other words, translating needs to be done in a certain process that you have set for it.
The good news is, there are numerous ways to send your content to be translated. However, no matter which method you choose, you still need well-thought-out workflow that allows you to:
- Send content to LSP
- Ensure that the content is sent to LSP on schedule; AND
- Ensure that the LSP authors are adequately doing their job in translating content
If you don’t set up the plan for a workflow, then chances are, certain areas of LSP can get confused on what to do, and how to do their jobs. Or, chances are, content will already be sent out mistranslated. Therefore, make sure that everyone on your team is comfortable with how the workflow will go, before you put it into operation.
- Observing Translation Interactions
Now that you have a workflow plan in mind, you can now see how it’s functioning. During this phase, you should take note of the things that you’re seeing during the translation process. While you can’t see how content is moving through LSP, and how they’re managing the process on their end, you can still keep in mind your interactions with LSP whenever the translation falls into one of two areas:
- When the LSP asks for clarification on source content
- In this case, it’s best to respond to the LSP right away to clarify their inquiries.
- OR, when you’re reviewing the translations done by the LSP
In short, know the interactions with LSP that you’re involved in, and when you can’t interact with them.
- Seeing That Content Is Translated
Next, you must make sure that your content is 100% translated, once the LSP returns it to you. Now, if you’re working with more than one LSP, be sure to keep track of the following:
- How each LSP will return their translations
- Who (in each LSP) translates your content
- When each LSP will translate your content, AND
- Where each LSP is translating
Remember: While there’s nothing wrong with working with multiple LSPs, it’s still important to keep track of all of them, since having multiples can make translating even more complicated.
- Knowing What To Do Post-Translation
Finally, you must have a plan for after your content has been translated. While this may seem like a no-brainer at first, there’s actually more to post-translation than what you might think. Sometimes, companies translate content just to translate, or because they’re doing so for a certain client. The possibilities are endless.
As you can see, it takes more than in-house workers to translate content. And, it takes more than management to plan for just one phase; in fact, all 5 phases will require intense planning, in order for the entire workflow to work. Remember: The workflow can be a tedious process; but once you get going, you’ll soon see your content effectively translated to reach wider audiences.
Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at OX Essays and Paper fellows. She is also a contributing writer for online magazine and blogs, such as UK assignment service. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in digital and social media marketing.