Developing a system to manage translations for a company or other type of organization poses serious problems for all parties involved. Even dealing with a translation agency requires a certain amount of preparation. Organizations can take several steps internally before sending a single document or an entire set of materials to a translator to translate to Spanish. Here are a few ways to align your organization’s goals with the capabilities of the translation team you will employ.
Companies, especially those unfamiliar with the translation process, tend to look no further than the immediate project they need done. They see texts or websites that require translation as soon as possible, so they hire a translation agency without a thought about the future. The problem with this is that a given translation service may not have the ability to meet future demand. This can be especially troublesome if the organization suddenly realizes that the extent of the project has grown with time (and, with any luck, success). Before deciding on a particular agency, it is worth taking the time to find out how scalable their service is—will they have the capability to grow on the same scale as your organization? This can help you avoid having to change services later on.
Another obstacle that pops up down the line revolves around how different departments or divisions of an organization will interact with the translated materials. Managers should ask themselves which departments will directly benefit from translations ordered now and in the future. Also, managers should identify the points of contact between the organization and the agency.
If people from different departments will be placing orders with the translation agency, management should ensure that they agree on set policies for communicating with the agency.
In the same vein, any agency taking on a large client should have the tools to maintain a record of the specifics related to your organization’s translation jobs. Typically, translators use software tools to keep track of the terminology, preferred phrasings, and terms to avoid. This includes, for example, records of standard industry jargon and words or phrases that should or should not be used for legal reasons. Translators keep these in a secure database for future reference. This can save you time and money in the future since documents will take less time to translate to Spanish and will remain consistent with past translations.
Above all, communication with your translation team about the items you need to translate to Spanish will make the process go more smoothly. Rather than thinking of this as a mere transaction, managers can consider this as a partnership between two organizations. By drawing a clear picture of your organization, its vision for the future, and how translation fits into that picture, you can avoid some of the pitfalls companies encounter as they grow.