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10 Ways to Ensure Quality Translation

Follow these tips for a great partnership with your chosen translation service

You've poured time and effort into creating deeply resonant, high-quality content for your company. When you hand off this content to professional translators, you want to ensure it returns as a quality translation that retains all the impact of the original text.

The partnership you form with your Language Service Provider (LSP) is crucial to achieving this goal. After all, no matter how brilliant your translators are, it will only be possible for them to nail your brand’s voice and style with your help. Your input on these things and your subject matter expertise can be the difference between a mediocre translation and content that speaks to the hearts and minds of potential customers in a new market.

Whether it's your first time as a translation customer or translation is part of your regular workflow, it’s always possible to enhance your process. As a veteran with 25+ years of innovation and involvement in building strong partnerships between businesses and translation teams, here's our advice for making the most of your translation services experience.

10 Tips for Ordering Quality Translations

1. Start the partnership strong through effective onboarding.

The onboarding process sets the tone of your engagement. Clearly articulate your business objectives and reach alignment on communication touchpoints for when you move forward. This beginning stage is also a good time to address any concerns. Learn more about Lionbridge Staⁱrt Onboarding™, our best-in-class approach to customer onboarding that strives to achieve the best customer experience through a combination of human-led and AI-enabled methods.

2. Ensure your source text meets your quality standards.

Your source content must be high quality before sending it to translation to achieve optimal translation quality and prevent costly rework. For starters, be sure your content is accurate and up to date. Lionbridge helps its customers address content at the source with its cutting-edge language AI, Smaⁱrt Content™. The algorithms help build high-performing content by assessing, grading, and tagging source content based on 120+ attributes. The technology checks the content’s readability, sentence structure, and complexity, among other factors. It alerts content creators of brand voice inconsistencies, non-inclusive language, and opportunities to improve text.

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3. Supply brand guidelines and examples.

It helps to provide your team with branding documents in your project’s source and target languages. This step helps introduce translators and reviewers to your company’s brand voice and identifies the style and tone you want them to capture. Consider sharing some details about the mission and vision of your organization to round out their understanding of your business. The more detail you can give, the more likely your translation will match your brand voice in this new language.

4. Include examples of previous translations.

Show your provider a range of past translation work that impressed you. If you don't have any previous translations, look at other companies' foreign language content and share examples of what you consider good and bad translations. The more examples you can provide your translator, the better they’ll understand what you want. Sharing translation samples will also help you to agree on and implement a translation quality assurance process that suits your project.

5. Build out your project guidelines with in-country partners.

You understandably want to work with the best translation professionals in your target language. However, it’s also possible to partner with in-country translation services to create approved glossaries for your translation process. A glossary should include a comprehensive overview of approved terminology and an introduction to your brand standards and corporate style guidelines. In-country reviewers can add much value to this process by identifying common pain points for translating into your target language. This contribution helps simplify your translation process and reduce friction for current and future translation projects.

6. Allow your translators access to the text in context.

It can be challenging for your translator to get the nuance of a text exactly right if you provide it in isolation. If you give your translation team access to the staging environment of your website, they’ll be able to see what the finished content will look like and review it in context. This approach is particularly beneficial when developing new pages for e-commerce in global markets or when you plan to release a campaign in multiple regions simultaneously. The Lionbridge Laⁱnguage Cloud™ platform has an in-context review preview feature that lets proofreaders see what the finished product will look like. Translators can engage in online editing and make corrections in layout format, increasing accuracy, improving quality, and accelerating reviews.

7. Allocate a reasonable turnaround time for your translation project.

Ascertain how much time translators and in-country native reviewers need to do their work, including proofreading. When setting deadlines, balance the need to move forward with the time it takes to make a good translation. The shorter the timeline, the more the translator will have to rush — and the less likely that they’ll provide you with a high-quality translation.

8. Designate a point of contact for the project.

Designate a go-to resource at your company for your translation provider or translation management lead to contact with any questions. Setting clear communication lines makes resolving problems easier, saving time and money.

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9. Give your language partner extensive validation and feedback.

Just as communication is important when kicking off a translation project, staying connected throughout the process is also important. Give your language partner detailed feedback, highlighting specific sections that are true to the original text and providing suggestions for improvement if possible. This practice will ensure that the final text is true to your brand’s voice and style.

10. Work towards building long-term relationships.

If you follow all these tips, you’ll have invested much time and effort into building quality assurance processes with your chosen translation provider. You will also have established a solid foundation that you can use to improve the quality of all your future translation projects. Capitalize on this effort by returning to competent providers who know your company’s voice, mission, and quality requirements. You’ll see a significant impact on translation quality going forward.

The Secret to Quality Translation

The core thread running through these tips is a spirit of communication and collaboration. If you and your LSP work together on comprehensive preparation, communication, and a mutually convenient workflow, you will set yourself up for a long and successful partnership. When your translation provider clearly understands your ideal outcomes, it will be better positioned to deliver the desired translation results — and you'll be more likely to achieve your content goals.

If you’re looking for a partner with a proven track record of providing high-quality translation services for clients of all sizes, look no further than Lionbridge. For 25+ years, we’ve transformed thousands of websites and applications.

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Discover how we can build an efficient translation workflow that utilizes the best of humans and cutting-edge technology to help you translate more content faster and cost-effectively at your desired quality level to achieve your business goals.

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