Friday, October 28, 2016


Based on PLG’s 22 years of providing translation services to world-wide customers, these guidelines will help you optimize quality of service and client satisfaction.

1. Choose a translation agency that utilizes Translation Memory (TM). A TM is critical in two ways: it ensures consistency in the way your products are presented to the world, project after project, even when utilizing multiple translators. It also decreases turnaround times by assisting the translator with repeated text.

2. Specify a language dialect if necessary. Are your French labels going to customers in Quebec rather than France? Is your target market Taiwan or mainland China? Will your Spanish-labeled products sell in Mexico or in Spain? Are your Portuguese-language brochures destined to Brazil or Portugal? A good translation agency will assign a native speaker of the target language/country to the project so that your translations will not only be accurate, but also culturally authentic. 

3. Clarify the need for measurement conversions from U.S. standard to metric and for adjustments to local settings. Your U.S. toll free number, for instance, may not work abroad. Provide alternate information to your translation agency if necessary.

4. Provide a glossary if you have one. Glossaries are beneficial when terms have a distinct meaning in your industry (even the simplest ones, like plate, for instance). If you have had labels translated before, your previous translator may have created a glossary of the most commonly terms that appear on your packaging.

5. Educate the translation agency about your products. Contextual materials you can provide include brochures, flyers, instruction manuals, previous translations, and even videos. The more context translators get, the more they are able to tailor the translation to your product’s specificities. Having all the necessary information at the outset will help your project manager handle the job much more efficiently.

6. Use an agency with graphic design capacity. Take advantage of PLG’s  in-house typesetting/DTP (desktop publishing) layout services. Placing language in an artwork file can be problematic if you are not familiar with the language or graphic design software. This is especially true with languages featuring non-Latin characters. It may be easy to find a good language professional or a good typesetter, but finding someone who is proficient at both is rare. A good translation agency often has staff that is familiar with both the language and desktop publishing software. 

Applying these 6 tips will optimize the project’s workflow and ensure your satisfaction with the final product. For more information about our label/packaging translation services, please visit

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