Localization Kits are Vital for Documentation Translation

onFebruary 25, 2015

inGeneral, Translation Tips

Document Translation & Localisation Kits

Many clients who are new to document translation may not be aware of the need for the correct format for their documents if they require a quotation in advance. There are some clients who may think that all they have to do is upload their documents and everything will be returned to their satisfaction without anything else needed. However, the reality is a little different. If you, as a potential client need an accurate quotation for your document translation, then you should provide a complete set of information and resources so that the translation services provider or proofreading services provider can make an accurate assessment of your needs.

The name for this set of information is a “localization kit” and it is vital for accurate document translation. Generally, there are three sets of resources which you may or may not have as a customer. Basically, these resources are the same ones as you would provide for the full translation itself. They include the source documents or files i.e. those you want translated; any glossaries or style guides that you or your company uses for translation and translation memory (TM) for your documents.

Source document may be text, spreadsheets or images (graphics) but basically the main requirement is that they are in an editable format. This means formats like MSWord or any equivalent word-processed text, PowerPoint files and so on. Avoid providing uneditable formats like PDFs, unless they are accompanied by the source file from which they are derived. The main problem with a PDF as far as the translation provider is concerned is that it is not possible to gauge the word count so that a quotation can be prepared; similarly, TM leveragability cannot be properly assessed for the same reason.

Many companies which require a lot of translation services prepare their own glossary and / or style guide. The benefits of these are that the language used, both in the original documents as well as the translated versions can be standardised, making interpretation much easier as well as reducing the time for translation itself. The glossary and style guides also take into account localization, i.e. any nuances in language that help in translation understanding in the target market or the destination for which the documents are intended. Glossaries and style guides can usually be prepared by the translation services provider as an additional service if you do not have either of these two already developed.

Translation memory can be very useful for any company that needs document translation on a regular basis. It matches regularly used words and phrases with those in the target language or languages and is stored for later use. Again this is a service that may be provided by the translation provider, but generally any translation software files are regarded as the property of the customer.

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