No company can do everything on its own; we all use the services of accountants, translators, solicitors. Don’t forget that you’re more than a client for these providers, you are their manager.
When you turn to a translation agency, you should know what guidelines, or instructions, to give the translators for that particular text. The translators will do all the work; that’s what you pay them for, but if you want to make sure the translation will come out perfect and according to its original purpose, state your requirements and give instructions for the job. Here are the basic guidelines to give a translation agency when you want to use its services.
In most cases the vocabulary and terminology of the text say enough about the style it needs to be presented in. Still, it would be useful to explain what result you want to achieve with the translated text. Tell your translation agency how you’d like the text to sound – efficient and simple or more artistic, as a personal story or as a scientific text. It’s also a good idea to point them to a text that is a good example of the style you like.
- Purpose of the translation
This is the most important piece of instruction you need to give your agency. Always explain what you’re going to use the text for. This way the translator will make the right decision on the style to use and the best approach to the job. Remember: a professional who works impeccably and with high motivation never translates literally – the purpose of the text guides them to the correct way to present it in the target language.
- Target audience
Who will be reading the text? That’s another basic question the translation agency is likely to ask you. If the text is to be sent to an institution – a diploma or a cover letter for a job for example – there’s no way it will sound informal. There’s also the question of your readers’ age and social status. If they are high-level managerial staff between the ages of 45 and 60, the language you use is certainly going to be more mature.
- Special requirements
Each text has its individual style and purpose, so it’s always a good idea to add your own special requirements. For example, you could ask for fewer terms to be used and for terms to be explained in simpler words. You could also ask for some of the text to be skipped or for new text to be added by expanding the existing sentences. The latter is a different type of service, but you could reach an agreement with the translation agency about it.