Millions of people offer professional document translation services online, and quality can vary widely. Machine translation is the first choice because it’s free, but you’re likely not going to get professional quality. Other options require working with human translators, though again, your results aren’t always predictable.
Breaking services down to their specific features gives you a good idea of the type of results to expect. Some tech firms may offer excellent translation, but the cost comes at a premium because they don’t have the resources to streamline services. Others may provide workflow technology without the linguists you need. Before selecting the right business translation services, you’ll want to look at how well your origin content will translate.
Improving the Results of Your Document Translation
One thing to keep in mind is the old tech adage “garbage in, garbage out.” That’s not to say that there’s something wrong with your original content; it’s just that some content translates better than others. Even the best translation services in the world can’t fix a document that’s not optimized. For the best translations, the text should be crafted with a few key factors in mind:
- Concise language: Overly flowery language doesn’t tend to translate as well as more concise prose. Keep statements clear and straightforward to eliminate translation problems.
- Minimal idioms: Idioms rarely transcend languages. Avoiding these types of statements is beneficial because they don’t usually have a direct translation and instead will read as nonsensical.
- Solid code and tagging: The coding behind the product can break if it’s not streamlined for translation. It’s wise to tag words and add comments to preserve the user experience in any language.
- Standardized formatting: Having a standard format makes it much easier for linguists to follow. This process ensures they know how the content will appear after converting to a new language.
- Clear objectives: Linguists must understand the purpose of the content they translate. If they don’t, they won’t reach the intended goal with the message.
Documents that incorporate the above considerations are far easier to translate and gain the best results.
Boosting Professional Document Translation Services With Tech
Technology will provide a better translation path as it improves accuracy and streamlines workflows. The best professional document translation services should offer:
- Machine translation: Keep in mind that automatic machine translation shouldn’t be a stand-alone option. It should be utilized as a tool that helps guide linguists to the best possible choices, which helps to improve accuracy and speed results. A good agency will also allow for discounts when machine translation limits the amount of manual work needed for a project.
- Translation memories: Often, machine translation fails because it’s not customized for that specific client—a translation memory fixes that. It’s based on the firm’s particular preferences, giving priority to certain terms or phrases that work for that brand. The machine translation should be ongoing, with new additions made for every project. The more data it collects, the more accurate it grows.
- Collaborative platforms: Localization is a big project with many moving parts. A collaborative localization management platform allows users to speak to each other in a real-time environment. Project managers can see exactly where their documents are, eliminating time-consuming follow-up emails. It also makes it much easier to keep track of deadlines and ensure accurate results. Managers can additionally make suggestions or comments to ensure that brand-specific details are incorporated into every document.
- Preview panels: In many translation programs, linguists work on stand-alone strings without ever seeing the results, which keeps them from identifying essential issues with formatting or code that requires correction. They may also miss critical context that helps them understand the text’s objective. Preview panels allow them to check to see how content will display after they translate it.
- Automated linguist assignments: One of the most time-consuming parts of any translation project is the linguist assignment. You have to vet skills, review samples, and read resumes, all of which take ample time. On the other hand, automated assignment programs leverage artificial intelligence to review completed job metrics and assign the right linguist every single time. This option is a massive time saver that ensures you always get the right expert for your project.
- Coding reviews: Many times, you don’t know there’s a problem with your translated code until you try to go live with it. A good agency will offer a coding review to ensure your product or content is technically sound. This critical step maintains the integrity of the user experience.
These additional features work together to enhance professional document translation services. Of course, you must do a bit of legwork on your own to make sure the content is ready. However, with the best translation agency’s additional features, you can streamline your entry into new markets and manage projects more effectively.