Clarifying Job Instructions

Every now and then we run across projects which have detailed instructions for the translator to follow. There are several things to think about before sending your project for translation.

Make sure your instructions are clear and detailed. For instance, if you want all of the product names left in English, please don’t assume the translator is going to know which words are product names (especially if they aren’t all trade marked names). List the product names to remain in English.

If you have a software interface and it is translated, find out if you can provide it to the translator or agency working on the translation. If you aren’t able to supply those translations to the agency for their use, then it is best to ask them to leave the graphic user interface (GUIs) in English and follow it with the translation in parenthesis (e.g., English (Translation), or [English] (Translation)).

If you are supplying measurements or prices, check to find out whether your company prefers them to all be left in US measurements and prices, or if they need to be converted. It may end up being that you supply both types of measurements and prices. If that is the case, which one comes first the US or the conversion? Another good question that needs to be answered prior to translation beginning.

In summary check to see if there is a company policy regarding how measurements and prices are handled. Ensure you define what terms need to be left in English and specify product names. Also, if translating technical documentation, check to see if the software strings/GUIs have been translated and if you can get a copy of the English and translated strings to use during translation.

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