It’s easy to think that translation is a simple process - most people assume you just need to somewhat “know” the language and translate word for word and you’re all set.
Believe me, it’s not.
👉🏼 After months of careful planning, branding, positioning, refining your product and marketing strategy, your brand’s copy reads like it was written by a drunk robot using a dictionary (Yes, I’m looking at you, Google translate).
👉🏼 You write an email – the meaning might even somehow be there, but you missed the greetings, the tone, the email etiquette that are inherent to the target culture. The recipient thinks you might be a scammer, that you didn’t even take the time to write a proper email and ultimately, that you are rude (did you know Italians are super formal in their written communications?).
👉🏼You craft the perfect website to sell your product/service, but when translated, something is not quite right – the product wasn’t localized for this audience, the content is clearly not authentic, and you ruin your brand’s credibility and reputation.
As you can see, there’s a lot more than goes on behind the scenes, and this is setting aside all the complexities of different grammar, word order, different sentence structure, idioms etc. What might come off as a simple, merely linguistic and straightforward process is actually much more nuanced than that.
To be a professional, you not only need to have an excellent knowledge of BOTH source and target language - you need to have subject matter knowledge and other professional skills (marketing, computer, research skills, to name a few) that you need both time and money to obtain.
This is not something you achieve overnight, and this is not something you improvise.
So, if you find your perfect translator hold them dear and remember to value their hard work!
...And if you still haven't found your perfect into-Italian translator and are looking for one... Make sure to contact me and we can talk.
So you have finally found the right translator for your content. Go you!
…….Wait - now what?
Maybe it’s your first time working with a translator and you’re wondering how to make sure you receive an accurate estimate of time and price and you receive top-quality work that aligns with your message.
Let’s take a quick look at 5 of the most important things you can do for your translator:
1 – Send (at the very least) a sample of what you need translated - not all words are created equal: incredibly specific texts in niche fields require much more research and time than a simple newsletter, so the price will vary depending on the text.
Knowing the format of the document is very important as well - trying to decipher a GP’s handwriting from a scanned pdf is almost impossible and takes lots of time compared to tackling a simple Word document – and don’t get me started on those endless Excel strings!
2 - Provide a wordcount - to estimate how much time we need to do a job, we need to know how long the text is. Most translators quote per word, so having a wordcount is essential to provide a quote, too.
3 – If you have a strict deadline, say so right away - we are happy to accommodate your needs but the sooner we know about it, the better (please note most of us charge an urgency fee and a weekend-work fee)
4 – Be available to answer queries - sometimes the context is not enough, sometimes we find an ambiguous word, we might need to ask questions and you are the right person to address. Please help 😊
5 – A style guide - Do you work with copywriters? Do you have documents outlining your style preferences? That might help… A LOT. We can usually infer it ourselves from your website or materials, but if you already have glossaries or style guides, that’s perfect.
That’s it, I believe I covered the very basics. Did I leave something out? Do you have any questions? Comment away!