In such a big industry like Education, document translation requirements can be wide and varied consisting of e-learning materials, international visa applications, tenders, contracts, exam materials and more. There are so many factors to consider when you are getting a translation completed like do you need translation laid onto the artwork, can you use repetitve words, and even how do you check the quality of the translation.
Knowing a few tricks of the trade could help you save money, time and effort.
For most organisations it is important to get the translation right first time, so we have given our top tips to guide you on translating your documents if you work in education.
Tip 1 – Your translator should have the correct knowledge & experience
In any industry you want to have someone who understands your business and translating your documents are no different. When selecting a translation company to work with, make sure they have translators who understand the education sector.
On top of understanding the education sector, any translator that they suggest should have previous experience working on an education translation project. Matching your requirements more closely will produce much more effective results, bringing down cost and time.
Make sure to also check the translation company has experience and a background in the education sector. With experience the company will manage your project better and understand the steps required to complete it on time and on budget.
Tip 2 – Put forward your best copy
An important part of any translation is making sure that the translation company and their translator has your most recent and proofed copy. If your English document has typos or does not flow correctly, this will be transferred across in the translated document as well. It will also be costly to have to change the translation once it has been given to translators for translation.
When it comes to education tenders and e-learning materials, it is extremely important that the original documents, whatever the language, are proofread for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes before being sent over.
Tip 3- Do your education documents need to be localised?
Localising documents for the education sector refers to preparing the documents for a specific audience in a certain language, dialect or part of the world. For example, the French have more than one way of saying “News” depending on their location. Localisation selects the correct words, phrases for the specific target audience and applies cultural understanding to them.
On top of making sure grammar, local references and terminology are relevant; localisation will also take into account layout of your documents along with its colour and style. In the West, the colour red can mean danger or love, but in South Africa it can be seen as the colour of mourning.
This insight into different cultures can make a big difference depending on your end goal.
Tip 4 – You really do get what you pay for!
A lower price does not always mean a good deal when looking for a company to assist with the translation of your education documents. Education translation is a specialist skill; you would not expect a nurse to perform heart surgery – the same can apply to your translation.
Whether it is course reports, exam results, application submissions or certificates, a good translator will charge you appropriately for the service which includes the sector expertise and the previous experience. Prices can vary depending on languages and technicality needed to translate the documents. Always ask about the qualifications of the translators and whether the documentation will be proofread as standard or whether additional fees will apply.
Explore a selection of quotes from a few companies and weight up their prices with their experience in the education industry to come to a value on their cost of services.
Checking for additional services included is also important such as proof reading, DTP services as this may be useful for future projects.
Establishing a relationship with a translation company can have excellent benefits. Over time, if the company uses translation tools, they will be able to use something known as translation memory to offer reduced rates for future translations for similar projects. Other benefits include continuity with the same translation team so that they can better understand your organisation, brand values and objectives to ensure consistency across projects.
Tip 5 – Will your translation fit your desired layout?
Translating documents can vary its length by up to 20% depending on the language. For example, German will expand the amount of text whereas Danish will reduce it. Correcting the formatting during the translation process is important to keep the flow and design.
Preparing for your translated content can be done by adapting the layout of your documents beforehand to allow for extra space.
A lot of reputable translation companies will also provide design / desktop publishing (DTP) services. They will provide you with the translation and correct the formatting matching the original as closely as possible, leaving you more time to focus on the wider project.
Tip 6 – Do I need to certify my education documents?
Certification of your documents will depend on the type documents it is and if you need to confirm that the translation is an accurate representation of the original.
Items such as diplomas, transcripts and certificates will normally be okay with the translation company’s approval stamp. If the translated document will be used in some form of legal context an Affidavit might be required.
Hopefully this article has given you some insight into improving your documents translation if you work in the Education sector at a school, college or university.
If you would like to know more about translation and localisation within the sector, you can contact Word360 using our contact form or call us on 0121 554 1981.