We strongly recommend clients to make sure they have checked and well prepared the following recommendations:
Clients and translation providers are continually striving for quality, faster turnaround times, and lower costs. Applying the following recommendations when creating the English can help you achieve these goals and at the same time ensure a higher level of reader comprehension and acceptance.
- Short sentences
Avoid sentences that are over 25 words long. Shorter sentences aid clarity and also improve translation memory efficiency.
- Explain acronyms
Explain acronyms the first time they appear in a chapter, or include an acronym glossary for the reader.
- Avoid complex noun clusters
Avoid grouping multiple nouns in a row without prepositions, as this can be confusing for translators.
- Bullet points and numbers
Bullet points and numbers add clarity and structure to lists and procedures.
- Consistent terminology
Be consistent in your use of terminology and acronyms. Avoid using different terms or acronyms for the same item.
- Finalize your English
When possible, proofread your English material before translation. Doing so helps avoid subsequent reworking in multiple languages at the translation stage.
• Design and structure
The design and structure of an original English document can affect costs for formatting the translated document. You can reduce downstream costs by following these basic guidelines.
- Text expansion
If the foreign language document needs to fit within the same number of pages as the English document, allow extra space when writing the English document. Other languages can occupy up to twenty-five percent more space on the page.
- Universal call-outs
Use numbered call-outs in graphics, and position the text outside the graphic, making it editable as text and not part of the graphic.
- Right justify
Full justification can require additional proofreading during the page layout stage because of foreign language hyphenation.
- Finalize the user interface
If your project involves localizing software, try to finalize the user interface before releasing the document for translation.
Diagrams and screenshots are effective tools that can help explain your message.
- Conditional text
Implement conditional text at paragraph level or at sentence level. This will improve translation memory efficiency.
- Index markers
Keep index markers to a maximum of 180 characters to allow for foreign language text expansion.
• Checklist of items to provide your translation supplier
- Any available reference material in English and the target languages.
- Any available glossaries or translation memories.
- A contact at your company for technical questions.
- A list of software packages used to create the source material, including version numbers, and any plug-ins.
- Naming conventions for translated files.
- Details of any specific issues related to the project.