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To obtain a more accurate quotation within a shorter period of time, do not send the source text in manuscript form, but as a file (or files) via e-mail or on a disk.


Set reasonable deadlines and notify your translator in advance to be sure of his or her availability. Hastily completed translations are seldom the best, and good translators are never at a loss for work.


Documentation, translation aids

The translator needs documentation in order to become familiar with the general background to the text, to adapt the terminology accordingly, and also to avoid re-inventing the wheel!. Existing translations of the same text into other languages are an equally valuable aid.


Translating illustration captions

Do not forget to send the translator ... the illustrations (photos or graphics). Translating a caption without seeing the illustration is equivalent to translating a text without having any knowledge whatsoever of the subject.


Translating the same text into various languages

Start by having your text translated into one of the target languages and treat this as a pilot translation. The work carried out at this stage will serve to clear up ambiguities in the source text and to resolve any problems. This procedure not only provides the next translators with clear instructions defined on the basis of the pilot phase, but also prevents the same questions and problems from being repeated.


Data formats

By necessity, translators work with text processing software. It is not usually possible for them to translate files saved in page layout programs (PageMaker, QuarkXpress, InDesign, etc.). PDF files are to be strictly avoided because documents composed in this format cannot be overwritten. Contact your translator with regard to formats other than .TXT, .DOC or .RTF before sending your texts.


An identical layout for various languages

When creating a layout, graphic designers should usually allow sufficient space for those target languages which run to a greater length (text expansion) than the source text. The best approach, in any case, is to inform the translator in advance regarding the maximum number of strokes (including empty spaces) that a chapter or paragraph of translated text may contain. In this way, you can avoid having to submit the text to the translator a second time in order for it to be shortened.


The translator is your most attentive reader, and his remarks can be very useful to you.


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