Preparing documents to be translated

You have made the decision to use a translation services agency. What do you need to do to prepare for a meeting with agencies in the process of selecting the one for your translation services?

The most important information you can provide to a translator is a very detailed description of how the document to be translated will be used and the audience you want targeted.

In describing your audience, be sure to include as much information as possible. Be sure you cover the following:  What is the targeted language? Who will be reading the material? Will it be for CEOs, mid-management personnel or hourly workers; is it geared for technical staff for technical reference purpose? Will it be distributed among the general public as the targeted audience?

What regions or countries the targeted audience will be in. Audiences in Mexico would not get the same translation that a Hispanic audience in New York would get. The style would be different. What dialect is needed? Spanish spoken in New York for instance is quite different from Spanish spoken in Spain. This distinction is extremely important if you are marketing a product.

Are there certain phrases, product names, or terms you do not wish to be translated?

How do you wish the pricing to be listed—in the targeted currency or in your local currency? The same decision needs to be regarding measurements—in metric or something else?

There may be other pertinent information to provide such as gender or age if these are targeted audience members. Provide all the information you are able to give regarding the audience. The more the translator knows about the audience, the better he or she will do in providing you with the best translation possible.

Preparing documents to be translatedThe next objective in preparing to meet with the translation services provider is to have all your final materials ready for translation. The documents or documents to be translated into the targeted language should be fully prepared. These documents should have been checked for typographically errors, proofread, spell checked and grammatically checked by a person and not a software program. It is a good idea to have more than one person do the checking. At least check the documents for correctness more than once.

Once the documents have been submitted for translation, it is important that you make no changes until the translation into the targeted language is completed.

If you have done your research well and selected a professional firm to provide your translation services and presented them with the information above, you will have a good relationship. You want a translation services provider who is professional in providing quality service and the translation service provider is looking for a business that is also professional in its approach. Doing the above gets you on the right footing in the very beginning. A relationship started with a firm foundation is one that usually endures.


SETranslations are European language specialists offering a variety of translation services including document translation, text translation and technical translation.

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