Thursday, October 31, 2019

Translation Expectations

Translation is a unique art which requires great attention to detail, creativity, and a vast knowledge of two languages. It also requires open conversation between the original content creator and the translation team to achieve the best possible results.

As a rule, our job as a translation firm is to adhere as closely as possible to the original content being translated, while appropriately conveying the information in the new language. However, this is not always what the client is expecting or looking for in a translation.

At times, a client may need a very literal and exact translation for legal or other reasons. In this case, the translator will often forego alterations that would make the translation sound more natural in the new language. They will adhere to the same structure and syntax as provided in the original.

In other instances, the client will not be looking for adherence to the original at all. They may be open to the translator altering sentence structure or order, even omitting or adding information that is not in the original. These cases are a bit trickier, as it takes more knowledge of the source document, the intended target audience, the nuances of the meaning in the source and how those meanings may be best conveyed in the target language. Our translation team is often able to provide this to a degree, but this is where we must have more extensive conversation with our clients.

After some conversation, for example, we may discover that the client isn’t really looking for a translation at all. Afterall, a translation implies having a source document, and bringing that same content into a new language. However, sometimes what a client is really looking for is for new content to be created specifically for a new market. In cases, like these we may advise our clients that what they actually need is a marketing team in place in the new target country to handle creation of the new content. The marketing team will have a better understanding of the product or service, and the intended effect the content is supposed to have on the new audience.

It is important to chat with your translation vendor about your intended goal and audience for content you are bringing into a new language. With a brief conversation our team will be better able to advise on how you may wish to approach your translated content.

PDF Files – Useful for translation?

PDF files are a great file type for sharing content. PDFs can be generated from almost any software as a way to exchange data easily without any specific program requirements to read the content. Anyone with a phone, tablet or computer should be able to view a PDF without issue. PDFs, however, are not design files and are not meant to be edited or altered. This makes them problematic to use for translation.
Most of the translation work completed by our company and other translation vendors like us, involves overwriting the source text of the original file. This involves opening the file in the original software which created it and replacing all text with the appropriate translations. Unfortunately, PDF files are not designed to be overwritten. Without the flexibility of design software, our ability to replace the original text with the translations and then format the translations is greatly restricted.
This does not mean that we can’t work from a PDF, just that it typically involves a little more work. If the PDF was generated from Microsoft word or Excel, it may be a simple matter of saving the PDF back to that file type, at which point we can begin work like normal. However, if the PDF was generated by more complicated software like Adobe InDesign or Illustrator, we would need to recreate the file from scratch, in order to allow our translation teams to properly work on the file. This is a more time-consuming process, and often involves extra charges.
If you have a PDF that needs translation, send it over to a PLG team member today and we will be happy to chat about the best way to handle it!