Translating a document is an exacting and detailed process. Responsibility and accountability needs to be fixed to avoid any problems at a later date, and a professional translation company always presents its clients with a flowchart that specifies the translation process.
You, as a client, should be aware of how the process flows, and therefore, here are the steps involved:
Document Authoring – This is the client’s responsibility. If the original document contains flaws and has to go back for a second translation, the client has to bear the additional charges. The client must also hand over reference materials, if any.
Scope Of Work – This is jointly discussed and finalized by the client and the translation vendor in an online or physical meeting. The document is assessed beforehand by the vendor and its translation complexity is discussed with the client. The scope of work is formulated and both client and vendor have to agree on it in this meeting.
Quotation and Schedules – The vendor then has to provide a cost and time estimate to the client. The estimate must include all the milestones discussed in the “scope of work” meeting.
Client Agrees – The client reviews the estimates and signs off (or suggests and discusses changes). He should hand over all documents and reference papers to the vendor after he gives the green light.
Project Setup – The vendor than sets up a team for the project. A project manager heads the job and translators, proof readers, DTP pros and reviewers have to report to him. The files are prepared and readied for document translation, work is assigned, and schedules are fixed. The client should have a quick chat with the project manager before work starts to make sure that the project is setup per the scope of work.
Translation and Review – The translation work begins now. Certified and experienced translators work on the document. They have to follow the scope of work and the project manager’s instructions. Once they are done, another certified and experienced translator reviews the original and translated documents. A review is required because the vendor must ensure that the translated document is accurate.
Desktop Publishing – After review, the final translated document is sent for professional desktop publishing. The document is typeset and proofed.
Client Review – The document is then reviewed and desktop-published once again after changes. If considered necessary, it is sent to the client for review. This step may not be required unless specified in the scope of work. You should insist that this first-cut is delivered to you for review.
Feedback – Client feedback is obtained and changes are made. Notes that specify that the changes have been requested by the client (if at all) are added in the project report.
Desktop Publishing – The final document is desktop published as per the client’s special instructions.
Proofing and Final Formatting – The document is proofed and then typeset once again. The project manager ensures that all changes have been implemented and the output is delivered to the client.
These are the steps in a document translation process.
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Terri R. Dane is blogger from Boston, MA.