Questions to ask clients during the translation process

Translation projects are important and a part of the overall creation of useful content for companies. There are many problems though that may surface during such a project. One of the most important issue faced by a translator is the right understanding of specific terms. Many translators believe that it may be unprofessional to ask for clarification as this could show lack of knowledge, but, on the contrary, asking the right questions and in the right way during a translation project will show that you are going out of your way to deliver an accurate translation.

Questions - Translation process

Questions before the Project

All translation projects should be preceded by obtaining some basic information which will allow you to understand the right context. The first question to ask is: who is the target audience? You should also find out if the client can provide some reference material such as glossaries or any previous translation they have done of similar content. Another key aspect is the tone of the translation because some languages such as Spanish have distinct informal and formal tones.

Questions during the Project

Clients often need to translate documents which are specific to their industry and it is difficult to understand a term or acronym which is used internally in a company. However, make sure to only include questions which you have not been able to search out satisfactory answers for. You should always refer to dictionaries, forums and do a research in the web before contacting a client.

Don´t rush and email your client if you come up with a question in the first page of a text. A good rule of thumb is to read the whole document first or check if the term in question appears more times in the document so that you have more context to understand it.

It is very common to come up with typos in the source document and you should always query your customer if you think there is an error which could change the meaning of a sentence. You will definitely score some points with your client if you identify these type of errors which are usually overlooked.

If you have too many questions which do not prevent you from continuing translating, a good option is to insert the questions as comments, your client can have a look at them once the translation is finished and answer you back inserting comments as well.

The right questions will not bring your value down, rather raise your prestige as a translator who values his clients and aims to deliver a professional translation, turning a one-time customer into a return customer.

Calendar of translation events – August 2016

conference

5-7

Translation Technology Summer School. Brasília, DF, Brazil.

4-6

Website Translation and Localization Course. Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
online/ Monterey, California, USA.

7-12

54th Annual Meeting of the association for Computational Linguistics (ACL2016). Berlin, Germany.

9-12

Computer-Assisted Translation Course. Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Monterey, California, USA.

11-12

ACL 2016 Conference on Machine Translation. Association for Computational Linguistics. Berlin, Germany.

17-18

Second International Conference on Economic, Business, Financial and Institutional Translation. Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.

22-26

19th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics. Essen, Germany.

22- Sep 2

CETRA 2016. Centre for Translation Studies. Antwerp, Belgium.

23

American Translators Association (ATA). ATA Continuing Education Webinar. Getting Personal About Pricing
ATA Approved: 1 CE point

29-Sep 1

VIIIe Colloque International “Linguistique contrastive germano-romane et intraromane”. Innsbruck, Austria.

29-Sep 2

Translation Technology Summer School. University of Leuven. Antwerp, Belgium

 

 

Top trends in the translation industry

Looking back last year, 2015 was undoubtedly a period of prosperity for the translation industry and if facts are to be believed, the amount of business in this sector has recorded a growth of around 6.5 percent this year.

In recent years, demand for translation industries has seen an upward trend. This is mainly due to the tremendous communication needs of the 21st century that has led governments and organizations to seek help in breaking the language barrier. Therefore, without ambiguity, the translation industry is one of the fastest growing in the world.

So, without further ado—let’s explore the 4 principal trends making waves this year!

translation industry trends

Trend #1: An increasing demand for language translations

Despite of what you may think, “minor” languages spoken around the world are not fading away. As a matter of fact, demand for multilingual online content is going through an upward trend with English dominating the translation industry at 53.6 percent, while Russian, Chinese, Spanish and French are aggressively following.

By now you know what it means—it means more expansion opportunities for businesses, and to reach out to the international market, the demand for translators will keep on flourishing.

Trend #2: It’s time for quality OVER cost

Since businesses are always looking for ways to expand and increase market share, they are bound to search for exceptional translation service providers to benefit them with high quality service rather than opting for cheap low cost providers. In the translation market, it is imperative to constitute your credentials and portray your organizations image positively in the global market so as to be able to leverage status and negotiate power.

Trend #3: Voice based translation will be in more demand

Today, companies are looking for more novel ways to market their business in the global market. Gone are the days when simple plain text was translated to capture a new language market. From where we look, both audio and video translation service can excitedly change the way translation companies work.

Hence, to keep up with the ever-increasing demand, translation agencies should hire translators or train existing ones to provide with acceptable voice over translation service.

Trend #4: Human translation will still be superior over machine translation

Machine translation basically refers to instruments such as Bing translator, Google translator, etc. doing the job for you. While these smart tools are rising slowly, it is not recommended to use them often, unless it’s for personal use.

Currently, online tools cannot comprehend the context of your content, for example, your content can be used for marketing, as white paper, for a website or instruction manual, etc. Additionally, they are also limited by the amount of words they can translate per minute.

To convey the purpose of your brand and deliver the right message to your audience, you need a human to effectively translate the essence (and not just a literal meaning) of your message. A machine is a machine after all; some jobs are left best in human hands!

The aforementioned are top four exclusive key tends in the translation industry that you should follow! Let us know what you think is the most essential to the industry. Do you have more to add to the list?

Calendar of translation events – June 2016

translation events june 2016
2
Being a Successful Interpreter. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Panel on Natural Language Processing (NLP). Women in Localization, San Jose, California USA.

3

Symposium on Corpus Analysis in Legal Research and Legal Translation Studies.Transius,
Geneva, Switzerland

3-5

ABRATES VII. Brazilian Association of Translators (ABRATES), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3-9

2nd annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. Middlebury College. Ripton, Vermont USA

8-10

LocWorld Dublin. Localization World, Ltd. Dublin, Ireland

9

When Translation Meets Technologies. University of Portsmouth & Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Portsmouth, UK

9-10

4th International Conference on Game Translation and Accessibility. TransMedia Catalonia Research Group, Barcelona, Spain

10

10th Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics. Network of Jurilinguistics Centres, Montreal, Canada

10-12

Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference. InText Translation Company, Orlivshchyna, Ukraine

15-17

Audiovisual translation: dubbing and subtitling in the central European context. Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovakia

16

Localization for the eBay Global Marketplace. The International Multilingual User Group (IMUG),
San Jose, California USA

17-18

Eighth Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum. TAC, FIT, XISU, Xi’an, China

18-19

IJET-27- Japan Association of Translators, Sendai, Japan

PAPTRAD’s 1st International Translation and Interpreting Conference. Portuguese Translators & Interpreters Association (APTRAD). Porto, Portugal

20

SDL Translation Technology Insights. The future of technology within the translation industry. Online event.

23-24

Localization unconference. Localization unconference Team, Heidelberg, Germany

23-25

MLA International Symposia: Translating the Humanities. Modern Language Association,
Düsseldorf, Germany

29-July 1

Critical Link 8. Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies, Edinburgh, Scotland

Facts about the rapid growth of the Spanish language

Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Vice President of Spain, recently recalled the roots and history of the Spanish language. She noted the landmarks and influencers of the language that helped to grow Spanish around the world. Such ventures include the expeditions of Christopher Columbus and the philosophy of writers like Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez. Through this introduction she outlined fundamental aspects of Spanish that are key to understanding the growth of the language today.

spanish_language

  • Spanish is the first language of 470 million people around the world.
  • Forty-five of these 470 million people do not reside in a country where Spanish is the official language as there are only 21 countries who have Spanish as the official  language.
  • Forty-one million Americans are Spanish native speakers.
  • Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world and currently Spanish speakers represent 7.9% of the total population. This means that in the next generation one in ten people in the world will speak Spanish.
  • Spanish is the third language most used on the internet, with a total of 8% of users.
  • The use of Spanish in the internet grew more than 1,000% between 2000 and 2013.
  • There are approximately 20-25 million people around the world that study Spanish
  • The number of American university students enrolled in Spanish courses exceeds the total students enrolled in other languages.
  • In 2050, the United States will be the first Spanish-speaking country in the world.
  • An average of 185,000 Spanish books per year are produced throughout Spanish-speaking countries.

Questions to consider before becoming a freelance translator

freelancing-translators

You are working as an in-house translator and you are tired of fixed hours, bosses and travelling to your job
during rush hour. You might struggle with your schedule or not being able to choose what you translate. Is it
time to become an independent translator? Answer the following questions before you take the big
step:

1.  Are you going to make enough to meet your needs?

Most clients hire freelancers on a project-to-project basis. So you have to be proactive about budgeting.
Many freelance translators have permanent jobs elsewhere. So consider, would this role be fiscally
beneficial? Before committing, understand the hours you will spend on a project and if they will accurately
reflect the hourly payment you will receive.

2.   Are you willing to work alone?

If you are a person that works best in teams, freelance translation might not be for you. At times translation
can be a lonely job so it is important to reflect on the environment that you thrive in. If your ideal work space
is a company culture with direct colleague collaboration an organization with more co-workers would be a
better fit.

3.   Can you meet deadlines?

Freelance translators must be timely and detail-oriented. At times there will be an overload of projects so it is
important to be organized and plan ahead. If you are thinking of freelancing while keeping your current job,
beware that most companies will require you to be available during normal business hours which limits your
attention and time to other jobs you might have. You’ll need to be able to not only meet deadlines but
simultaneously insure those deadlines don’t interfere with other commitments.

4.   Can you be flexible and multitask?

This is the most important question to ask yourself. The key to freelance work regardless of the field, is
adaptability. However, multi-tasking does not mean overworking as this can lead to lack of quality. It means being able to work productively and independently because you won’t typically have a supervisor checking in with you on a regular basis.

5.  Do you have enough time to market yourself?

As a freelance translator, you will constantly be networking and searching for different opportunities.
Consequently, this outreach time adds up; especially when you are constantly educating yourself about new
markets, sending your CV to agencies or developing a marketing strategy. It is a good idea to to create your own
personal website and partner with other translators to better reach potential clients.

6.  Do you have samples of previous translations or references?

It is important that you are able to position yourself as a desirable candidate. In the translation industry,
a portfolio is a much better indicator of your abilities than a resume. Although some documents you translate
might be confidential, you can provide samples without mentioning your client’s name and include those
parts that will not reveal confidential information. Furthermore, you can use any translation you did during
your translation studies as a sample. Of course, past experience is not necessarily a requirement but it will
give you better chances.

Pages