As UK companies jostle to expand abroad to help them adapt and survive the recent recession, many are finding themselves commissioning translation services for an ever widening palette of languages. This means that it is becoming increasingly important to maintain consistency across platforms and ensure that the company message is not diluted and that documents and flyers follow a pre-determined style. Technical Translations has helped a lot of our clients overcome the obstacles to consistency that rapid multilingual expansion can expose, and in this article we’d like to introduce you to two of the basic tools we use to do this: translation glossaries and translation style guides.
Translation glossaries are a list of all the preferred words and terms in each language for an individual client. Building a translation glossary ensures that translators will be able to take over with confidence in the case of the primary translator/s on a project becoming unavailable or where the volume of work to deadline ratio is too high. Where we have a consistently high volume of work from a single source, Technical Translations will recommend building a glossary containing but not limited to special terminology, definitions, and associated notes.
A good rule of thumb when building your translation style guide is to include all those things that you can’t put into a glossary, such as preferred formatting styles, phraseology, punctuation and client-specific preferences. The style guide is less about terminology and more to do with consistency in tone and phrasing.
If you would like advice on incorporating the use of a translation glossary and style guide in your multilingual media, have a word with one of Technical Translations’ friendly senior project managers. We can help you to decide in which languages you need to build your localisation tools, and give you access to top-quality professional translators, who are also experts in the technical field you operate in to assist you with your glossary and style choices. We can also help by proofreading your original English documentation. It is surprising how many UK companies overlook their mother tongue and we do sometimes find that the source text we are given to work with has not been proofread thoroughly in English first.