How one document will revolutionize your relationship with translators

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Had enough of spotting inconsistent terminology across your website? Wondering why you can’t seem to attract your target audience in certain markets?

Or maybe you’re tired of answering frequent, long lists of questions from translators, which take up your time and delay your projects?

Picture this: a single document to solve all of these problems (and more!). These are the exact solutions a simple client brief can bring to your business.

Translators need to have context

We know the drill. 

You’ve launched a new translation project and, before you know it, questions about context and terminology begin pouring into your inbox. You’ve answered all of these questions before, but a new translator has joined and isn’t up to speed.

The thing is, translation isn’t a straightforward replace-this-word-with-that-one kind of process. There are many reasons a translator would select one word over another, including meaning, audience expertise and a brand’s level of humour or formality.

Without enough context, there are two possible scenarios. 

Either the translator has to stop what they’re doing to ask for additional information (which wastes both your time and theirs) or they’re left to take a stab in the dark and hope for the best. Neither is a great option.

The implications of getting it wrong

Unfortunately, the implications of uninformed translators aren’t limited to a few inaccuracies in your content. Without any guidance, a translator is left with total control over your brand’s tone of voice and personality.

That term you like to use consistently to refer to your product or service? Forget about it.

If you haven’t specified your brand’s terminology, translators may choose another less accurate phrase. This, in turn, could cause major confusion for your audience.

Speaking of audience – did you remember to mention your specific target audience? If not, there’s a chance your audience won’t have been addressed directly (which could explain lack of interaction in certain markets).

Failure to specify your tone of voice can also lead to inconsistent messaging across markets. For example, imagine the following scenario:

You’ve made a conscious decision to define your tone of voice as formal and matter-of-fact. However, this wasn’t properly communicated to the translators working on your project. 

They come across the following message: “Apologies, there has been a technical issue.” and replace it with an informal alternative: “Whoops! Here be dragons…”.

Although the same message is being conveyed, the tone of voice is completely different. This could leave you with an uneven brand across different markets.

Client brief to the rescue

A client brief collects information such as:

  • Basic company details
  • Industry competitors
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Company values
  • Brand personality
  • Audience or user persona
  • Tone of voice
  • Term base

Creating a client brief ensures all bases are covered. Any translator – regardless of their background or expertise – will be able to look at your client brief and know what is expected of them. 

That means your days of trying to guide a translator when picking between two words of a foreign language will be over. Your client brief will provide them with everything they need to know to make an informed, accurate decision, every time. 

This will also allow your translators to complete their work efficiently and independently, which we guarantee will leave you, your translators and your inbox in a much happier state!

Not sure where to begin? Book a free consultation to find out how Locale can help.

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