- How much does a translation cost?
Translation rates vary, this depends on the format and/or complexity of the text, the target language and the turnaround time (regular or rush).
- How long does it take to translate a page?
There are approximately 300 words in a regular page, and it may take a translator from one to two hours to translate them, everything depends on the terminology involved, the more complex the terminology the longer it takes to translate it. A translator’s regular production is around 3,000 words a day.
- And how do I calculate the number of words and the cost?
In order to have a general idea of the number of words involved you have to count the number of words in one or two lines of your page, get an average figure and then multiply by the number of lines that you have in the text. This figure will give you a general idea of the number of words per page, multiply this by the number of pages and you will get an approximate total of the words to be translated. Please bear in mind that texts translated from English into Spanish are longer (there is a 15% to 25% expansion, depending on the type of text). English is much more concise than Spanish, French or Italian.
- What is the charge for translations?
In general, translations are charged per word (although in some countries, for example in Germany they charge per line or per page and in Russia by number of characters per page.)
- Is it necessary to translate everything?
Before you decide to translate the whole document (that in some cases may include hundreds of pages), define who will be reading your message. In principle, it will be much better if you avoid any unnecessary text, as you will have fewer words to translate and the cost will be lower. If it is a report, a technical manual, or another kind of document, maybe you need to translate just a part of it, some 230 pages instead of 500 in the original. A neurobiology research institute managed to identify what could be omitted in a text they had scheduled for translation and the result was very positive because a lot of time and money was saved. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION: this analysis needs to be done before starting to translate.
- Think “globally” from the very beginning
If it is a matter of translating general information about your company, your foreign customers will surely not be interested in details that many times may sound like you are showing off and may turn your message into something negative. Just make sure that your document includes culturally pertinent information for the end users. Avoid any reference to national sports, “gaucho” or “mate”; this is something very local for Argentina that foreigners do not understand. Please remember that translating not only is finding the right word in the other language, it is about a transfer of culture; the target audience needs to understand the whole idea of what you are trying to convey. Please do not forget to include all pertinent contact information in the documents you are sending abroad (international telephone country and area codes, etc.).
- And what will happen if I translate the document myself?
We would advise you not to translate the document yourself if you do not master the foreign language. The fact that you can discuss business in the other language without any problems does not mean that you can write properly and in good style; in nine out of ten cases it will be possible to detect that “the document was written by a non-native speaker”. Engage the services of a professional translator for this task.
- The more the translator knows about the document to be translated, the better quality product you will get
It is always better if the translator has a direct contact with someone in your company to clear any doubts or ask questions.
- It is a good sign when the translator asks question about the document he or she is working on
No one will read your documents more carefully and thoroughly than a professional translator. This is an advantage because it will enable you to improve the quality of the text to be delivered in the foreign language. Translators break down the text before they rewrite in the target language. Good translators ask questions; help them! If the text is technical it is a must for the translator to get to know your company and to learn about the subject matter. You will surely agree that a person who knows about a particular subject may write well about it, producing an understandable text or report. You will get much better results if a working relationship is developed with the translator. A translator that has been working during many years for the same company is well aware of the company culture and terminology and his or her translations will be excellent.
- Spelling and conventional rules are not the same in different languages
When you are producing a brochure in a foreign language do not overlook a final print check. Just a few examples: in Spanish it is important to use a question mark at the beginning and at the end of a sentence, and there are three kinds of diacritical marks or accents in French. Comply with foreign language rules!
- Selecting a translation vendor
It is important to request sample translations, background information and a list of customers from your new translation vendor.
- Why is it important to include the translator’s name on the translated job?
Including the translator’s name in a document is just a keystroke away; it encourages the vendor to deliver a high quality job. And this is good for all parties involved. Plan ahead. Look for a translation provider before the actual translation needs arise. Start looking for a qualified translation vendor from the very moment that you company has foreign contacts.
- Internal company glossary
It is important that when you prepare texts for translation your products are always named the same in the target language. The person in charge and the translator should work together to produce a glossary to ensure consistency.
- Localization: What does localization involve?
Originally, localization was applied to software programs to adapt them to different global markets. At Bureaucom, the localization process is applied to texts that are difficult to translate into another language. We know how to solve different barriers that arise, as far as language, culture or technical issues are concerned. We work efficiently to deliver localized documents that will help you to increase your company’s market share.
- Why localize?
Localization, or L10n, is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific local language. Translation is one of several services that form the localization process. So in addition to translation, the localization process may also include adapting graphics, charts or illustrations to the target markets, modifying content layout to fit the translated text, converting to local currencies, measuring units or temperatures, adapting contents to the page size or source files, technical possibilities, knowledge, philosophy, jargon and voice tones to every particular market, using proper formats for dates, addresses, and phone numbers, addressing local regulations and more. The goal is to deliver a product with the look and feel of having been created for the target mark, always bearing in mind the specifics of every stage in order to eliminate or minimize local sensitivities, avoid misconceptions, confusing statements, or negative connotations. These are some statistics that effectively illustrate the need to localize content for each target market. For example: • 56.2 percent of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. – (Common Sense Advisory, Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: Why Language Matters on Global Websites, 2006) • 74 percent of multinational enterprises believe it is either important or most important to achieve increased revenues from global operations. (California State University at Chico, 2007) • 71 percent of North American executives expect revenues from foreign operations, sales and/or imports to increase. (Chubb, 2008, Multinational Risk Survey) • A critical success factor for cross boarder merger and acquisition deals is the ability to communicate information clearly in multiple languages. (Merrill Corporation, How to do Better Multinational M&A Deals, 2008)
- What are CAT Tools?
As the name suggests, CAT or computer-assisted translation tools are programs that aid translators, but do not do the work for them. In recent times, they have become as much a necessity for a professional translator as the computer itself. These programs are capable of processing a text, while storing, in real time, the sentences or segments that the professional translates as he or she works. These programs store the segments in a separate file, called a “translation memory” or TM. These tools can be used to translate texts in every Eastern or Western language because they work with all language characters.
- Advantages of using CAT tools
They provide tremendous advantages to both translators and customers. Speed, since the memory can be used to store specific terms so as not to forget them later, or to search for them in separate glossaries. Cost–effectiveness, because one can quickly obtain translations of segments that have been processed in the past. These segments are called full matches or 100% matches. Another advantage is that only one translation is needed for the segments that are repeated throughout a project, for example, the headers. These segments are called repetitions. Finally, there are also fuzzy matches, which are segments that have a certain similarity to existing segments stored in the memory. At Bureaucom, we use CAT tools to translate many different formats. Another advantage, besides the high level of consistency attained using a memory, is the ease of processing and translating texts from graphic design programs and tagged text (such as .html and others). Ask us about the different tools, choose the best one for your particular project and feel free to ask us any questions you may have about CAT tools. At Bureaucom we will give you reliable advice.
- What is DTP?
Desktop Publishing services (DTP) are an essential part of translation and localization projects. In many cases, these projects require adapting and adjusting formats, fonts, graphics, general outlines, final design, and programming, adapting boxes, animation, visual effects or other technical or visual resources or effects. DTP services are essential to ensure similarity between the source and the target product. The meaning of DTP has been gradually re-defined since it was created over 20 years ago; today, in the 21st century; this task is about using software to edit it graphically and to edit the very same software. Graphic design documents may be printed from the computer itself or in a business print shop, or may be distributed electronically using PDF files, slide shows, electronic bulletins or the web. It is not only about how the document looks; it significantly improves visual communication and guarantees that the information you are conveying flows clearly to the reader.
- What platforms are used for this process?
These are some of the softwares commonly used to solve the graphic editing platform needs: Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash Macromedia, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe inDesign, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Captivate, SnagIt, Lectora Publishing Suite, Articulate, RoboHelp, CorelDraw!, Photopaint, Ventura, QuarkXPress, Fireworks, Apple KeyNote, Apple Pages, Interleaf/QuickSilver, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Word, AutoCAD, iStudio Publisher, Scribus, SDL Trados, and Idiom Worldserver.
- What is simultaneous interpretation?
Interpreters work in a booth and translate the speaker’s presentation that is heard by the audience through headphones. The main advantage of this kind of interpretation is that there is no delay in the translation of the presentation and the speaker feels at ease, without the need to pause. Simultaneous interpretation is highly recommended when there are more than 15 individuals present.
- What is consecutive interpretation?
The interpreter works close to the speaker and translates part of the speech every time that the speaker pauses. The advantage of this technique is that the speaker and the interpreter are in close contact with the public, and it is easy to clarify any doubts or answer any questions as the presentation goes on. This alternative is recommended for business meetings, round tables, press conferences and events involving up to 15 participants.