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What You Are Paying For: A Comprehensive Translation Process

5/22/2017 by Sara Leonhartsberger

In previous articles, the consequence of a poor translation and the cost of free translation tools were discussed, describing how a poor translation damages the relationship of a business with its audience and how free translation tools fail to guarantee accuracy and privacy. In contrast, a good translation incorporates several aspects of the writing process; a thorough translation job will include not only translating but also proofreading, editing, and integrating the text into the layout.

Proofreading is essential to avoid error-riddled documents; ideally, two or more translators will proofread a single translated document to ensure accuracy. Editing corrects the errors found in the proofreading stage while improving the translation with clearer word choice or phrasing. Additionally, edits can include noting errors in the original document and bringing them to the attention of the client, providing a well-rounded product in two languages. Finally, integrating the translation into the document’s layout is a pivotal step, maintaining the visuals and structure of the original source to best reach the intended audience.  In conjunction with translating, proofreading, editing, and integrating text into the layout provide a comprehensive translation process, better ensuring accuracy and quality than translation alone.

For businesses, translation is a tool, a method for better instructing employees or expanding the audience for their products and services. True, many tools are available in the form of translation services, but there is always a best tool for the job, the one most capable of completing a project well.

While it may not be the cheapest option, a good translation including multiple steps of the writing process provides a well-rounded, effective product.  Proofreading ensures an error-free document, while editing provides clarity and conciseness to the message. Integrating text into a layout provides a visual representation of a business to its intended audience. In summation, a well-rounded product through a thorough translation best represents a business to its employees or its audience. 

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