Thanks to his training and experience, your translator can offer services that far exceed just converting documents from one language to another. Your translator can become a key partner in your success in a variety of ways.

  • First, your translator should explain what he can (and can’t) do for you.

    Second, he will tell you what he needs (reference documents, a contact person, time, context, etc.) so that he can clearly understand the translation brief, the context of the translation, and your expectations.

     
  • A translator is a chameleon! By nature, he is curious and good at adapting. If you give him what he needs, he will easily adapt to your business culture and ways of doing things.

  • Your translator should ideally be involved right from the planning stage of document production. That way, the process will take into account the effects of translation on your documents.

    A translator can offer valuable information about the presentation of graphical features or the space to reserve for text (certain languages take up more space than others). He will also give you advice about the timeframe required to complete a translation.

    A good translator will examine your needs and suggest made-to-measure solutions.

  • A translator is a communication specialist—he translates ideas, not words. Sometimes, the translator is even the only language and communication specialist in the publication chain. Make him your trusted advisor.

    For example, your Web presentation may be clear to you, but will it really be clear to someone who doesn’t know you, such as your clients?

    You need the right person for the job. Your engineer designs products and your lawyer deals with contracts. Translation and communication are the province of the translator.

  • Translators must constantly update their IT knowledge. As a result, some of them can give you advice regarding the use of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. In particular, they can explain their advantages and limits, or even guide you through the process of acquiring such tools.

  • Your business-related or departmental data is sensitive. Security and confidentiality are crucial, especially if you entrust a translation to an outside professional. Good translators are aware of this and will communicate with you to determine the need to protect data during transmission or electronic storage. Some can even suggest related solutions.

  • Depending on the field, the complexity of the work, and the budget you are prepared to devote to a project, a translator can offer you a comprehensive or turnkey project, for example by working with terminologists, computer experts, and graphic designers.

  • With time, your regular translator gets to know your business or department inside out, thus allowing him to notice mistakes or inconsistencies between various translated documents (for example a mistake in a person’s title; incorrect numbers in a financial report; etc.).

  • The translator’s job is to adapt a text so that it reads as if it was truly written in the reader's language—not just to switch words from one language to another. Your translator might even need to adapt your text’s structure or punctuation (the latter of which varies depending on the language).

    Culture is an essential dimension. First, anglophones and francophones have different ways of approaching things. For example, English speakers tend to write close to the way they speak, for the sake of efficiency, while French speakers favour elegance and accuracy.

    Likewise, it’s no secret that people that speak the same language don’t all see or write things the same way. For example, while French Canadians frequently use the imperative mood for instruction manuals (more personal), the French prefer the indicative (more formal).

  • Your translator is responsible for the product he delivers. His work should meet your needs as established from the outset. And in case of any minor discrepancies, you can count on him to provide reasonable after-sale service.

    Of course, this requires that you provide the translator with all necessary information beforehand. Also note that if you make changes to a translated document, you become responsible for any errors introduced in the text.

  • A good translator offers you years of communications experience on a silver platter—take advantage of his expertise to make the most of what he has to offer!

François Abraham - Certified Translator Communications Léon inc. Francine Gaulin - Rédactrice | Scénariste