How to create a translation style guide

If you’ve already read our article on how to get a document correctly translated, how to create a glossary, or pretty much any article on how to get benefit from a language service provider (LSP), you may have noticed that collaboration is the key.  You can create a translation style guide on your own. In fact, your company may have already created one for internal purposes. However, a translation style guide is for translating, not for writing original content.  This means that a lot of the work has already been done of you and the translator, because much of the style and what the translators needs to know is already in the content itself. The purpose of the translation style guide is to address anything that the content cannot address directly. 

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The importance of writing style in document translations

The Glossary and the translation Style Guide are the two main tools (after translation memory) that translators use to optimize the quality of their translations by taking into account client preferred terms and style.  The glossary revolves around words that are explicitly determined (exactly what source terms and target terms should be used), while the translation style guide revolves around words that are abstractly defined (eg: whether to write formally or informally).   

This article will explain how language service providers (LSPs) standardize writing style, what tool they use, and how it works.  We will also cover when it makes sense to bother with this tool.  

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FAQ: Translation Glossary

A Translation glossary is one of the most powerful tools you can use to maximize the quality of a translation. This document answers your frequently asked questions (FAQs) about translation glossaries.   Read more

How to create a glossary for document translations

Professional services, such as accounting and medicine, require collaboration with the client.  Whether it’s tax information, patient records, or a consultation, the client has a role to play.  Translations, as a professional service, is no different. On the other hand, creating a glossary is a straight-forward activity, but in our experience, the glossary a client creates always improves when they incorporate input from our team.  A glossary that incorporates both knowledge of the client as well as knowledge of the translation process offers maximum value to all parties involved.   Read more

Term consistency in document translations – how important is it?

Just as there is more than one way of saying something in English, there is more than one way of saying something in other languages.  The meanings are the same, but the style, character length and other features may vary. Sometimes, when it comes to corporate branding or general client preferences, there is a need to standardize terms used in foreign languages. The most common example is the need to have consistency between product manual terms and marketing material.  It might not be possible to standardize every word, but “key words” can certainly be taken into account in translations.   Read more

BURG Translations client review policy and process

The option for a client to collaborate with us on a translation, called Client Review, is recommended in all circumstances.  Client Review is important because:  

  • it helps better meet client expectations of style and terminology
  • it provides domain-specific and localized input that the client has special access to
  • it better manages expectations by involving a knowledgeable reviewer from a client resource

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How translation companies manage to translate many languages a day

Due to the nature of language services, it is rare that a client requires the service of one language pair only. Procurement officers and inquisitive clients often wonder how a company like BURG Translations in Chicago could possibly supply hundreds of languages to nationwide hospital networks and large multinational companies every day. Below is our secret (and how the whole industry works).  Read more

How to reasonably predict the time and cost to complete a translation project

A lot of our clients depend on our services regularly.  Something we do to streamline our collaboration is share statistical heuristics that can help predict the value of their regular work and when they can expect us to deliver.  In practice, computers are used to analyze every word of content and produce a valuation down to the penny. Since only our team have access to all the tools and detailed training, heuristics were developed to improve transparency and collaboration.  In this article, we will dissect these heuristics and help you predict the value and time required to deliver translations of standard Word documents. The sections of this article are as follows:  Read more

What does quality assurance look like for a translation project

Some clients ask how a translation project can have quality assurance and how that differs from “rereading” the translation.  Quality assurance is actually much more than checking text and is actually considered separate from reviewing the text because the reviewer needs to be a specialist translator, while the rest of the quality assurance activities do not require linguistic capabilities.  Below is how we break down quality assurance: Read more

Your file’s journey through the translation process

Not every client wants to know what exactly a language service provider (LSP) does when translating a typical document.  Other clients think they already know. We want to be as transparent as possible – including posting our processes on our website.  Below is a simplified look of every activity in a typical translation project: Read more