A few months ago, I wrote this post on 4 things to do before translation. This time, I'm giving you tips on what to do after.
So, you got your content translated! Perfect! Now what? What? You mean there’s more to it?
I’m afraid so. If quality, accuracy, user experience, readability, smooth customer journeys and happy clients are important to you, here are 5 things you need to do after you've received your translated content.
1. Check it
I hear you say it’s Portuguese and you don’t know Portuguese so what’s the point? Surely though you can glance over it. There're so many things you can spot. For example, are all the bullet points there, is the formatting right, are the links working, are words in the right colours? Sometimes, taking a quick look at a translation can reveal a lot about its quality. Go back to your translator, if you have questions.
2. Proofread it or get it proofread
If it is content for publication, has it been proofread? If not, make sure it is. Translators are humans too and catching your own typos is a tricky business. So, if it is content for publication, always apply the 4-eyes principle, meaning hire 1 translator and 1 separate provider to act as a proofreader.
3. Post-production checks for paper products (post DTP checks)
So you sent the translated content to a designer. It is now produced on a poster or leaflet and you sent it to print. Have you had a translator check the print proof before pressing that ‘print’ button?
Typesetting errors are costly. And sometimes, designers, not all of them, but some, might change something because they think they know Greek, French, Spanish etc. but they are not language specialists and they mess things up.
A few years ago, a designer changed all the Epsilons (E) in my translation into Sigmas (Σ) because they genuinely thought that that’s what epsilons look like in Greek. Luckily, the translation agency sent it to me to check before print.
4. QA language testing for online and electronic products
Yes, QA testing is not just a geeky thing IT geeks do. Language geeks do a similar job. Give a test script to your linguist and ask them to navigate the website, register an account, purchase a product, play the video game, or watch the movie. You’d be surprised at how many language bugs they’ll spot.
Are all URLs working? Are all headers at the right places? Is the drop-down menu behaving? Do the error messages make sense for that specific language? Are the subtitles dropping at the right times? Is there any cropped text? Are the right product photos displaying with the right descriptions?
So much to check and it’s not to do with technical functionality, but with whether content has been imported properly and whether it is behaving correctly within the specific environment.
5. Make a glossary for the next time
Terminology is often the forgotten child of translation. You’ve got new content in a new language. If it is term-heavy, e.g. product names, definitions etc., why not start a spreadsheet?
List the English source terms and next to them the equivalent in the target language. Next time, this resource will make translation faster and more accurate, plus your translators will love you.
If you keep on top of it and you do this every time you receive a translation, the task won’t become daunting. If you don’t have time for this, why not assign it to your translator as an additional service? It'll probably take them less time than it'd take you.
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Vasiliki is a Consultant, Chartered Linguist, Translator, Interpreter and founder of Greek to Me Translations, a company that helps businesses communicate their brand, products and messages to their target audience. She can help your organisation achieve a global presence by implementing a translation process that works, using translation technologies and best practices. She believes that translation strategy, when well-embedded within the overall business strategy, delivers not only words but vision. Find out more about how she can help you or get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your translation process and any challenges you have.