At FIG Translation, we’re convinced that a company’s language and translation effort generates stronger results if it is viewed as an investment rather than an expense.
As a translation agency, we work in close collaboration with our clients. We aim to understand their operations and objectives, and learn about their preferred terminology and communication style. This discovery and analysis helps us align our translation process and resources according to our client’s specific context.
Based on our experience as a translation agency, we have found the following nine points to be fundamental in creating successful and effective partnerships between your business and your translation agency:
- Define roles and responsibilities
- Give access to your subject matter experts
- Participate in project status meetings
- Establish a work schedule
- Maintain a content catalogue for translation
- Build your lexicon and style guide
- Provid your translation agency with contextual information
- Apply version control
- Provide your translation agency with feedback
Let’s get to them in more details.
1. Defining roles and responsibilities
This first point is essential to setting a sound foundation for your partnership with a translation agency. Taking time to define the roles and responsibilities of each member of your team is a good investment. It will help your translation agency get the right people doing the right things right from the start.
2. Giving access to your subject matter experts
Your team includes subject matter experts. Giving access to subject matter experts who can answer your translation agency’s questions helps ensure their understanding. It also contributes to accurate translations from the onset.
3. Participating in project status meetings
A 30-minute weekly or biweekly meeting among key project members is an effective way to monitor progress. It helps to see just how far the project has advanced and to consider any questions that have arisen since the previous meeting. These meetings also reduce the need for long email threads and advise team members of upcoming translation work or other project tasks.
4. Establishing a work schedule
Knowing your production deadlines in advance allows for better work organization. It ensures the availability of appropriate resources to carry out your translation projects. It also allows you to avoid additional costs related to last-minute requests.
5. Maintaining a content catalogue for translation
A content catalogue is a list used to record the documents that need to be translated. It also provides information on the scope of work as represented by the word count and the priority as indicated by the due date. It is updated regularly and used to track the progress of work throughout the project.
The content catalogue can be as simple as a spreadsheet that includes the following for each piece of content:
- file name
- word count
- due date
- delivery date
It is updated prior to each project status meeting to ensure that all participants have access to the same information. This document should ideally be saved on a file-sharing site such as
- Google Docs
6. Building your lexicon and style guide
To ensure consistency in your translations, we recommend the use of a lexicon and a style guide unique to your organization. The lexicon is a permanent reference tool in which your translation agency will record the terminology choices agreed upon with you.
The style guide describes the rules to be followed in all your French language copy and thus defines the tone of your “French voice.”
7. Providing your translation agency with contextual information
The quality and accuracy of a translation, like english to french canadian translation projects, depends on a clear understanding of context. It’s to your advantage to send your translation agency any pertinent reference material you may have, for example:
- screen shots
- links to pertinent websites and online publications
- user guides
- product catalogues
- images and illustrations related to the copy to be translated
8. Applying version control
It is preferable to send the final versions of the copy to be translated whenever possible. Tracking multiple versions of documents increases the risk of mistakes as well as the cost, since additional verification is required.
9. Providing your translation agency with feedback
As working in partnership with your translation agency leads to the best results, it is vital to provide timely feedback on the translations received. It allows your translation agency to “hear your voice”, make the right terminology choices and deliver accurate and appropriate translations.
Does your business need to connect with the Quebec french market? Do you have a small or big project you want to translate from english to french? Get a fast quote for your next translation project! See also our tips to successfully enter the Quebec market.
A skilled manager with a strong grasp of his métier, Jean–Guy Latulippe brings FIG Translation’s clients over 30 years of diversified experience in the fields of communications, marketing, business development and training.