Recently, we published a blog that explored what makes a great translator. In the Canadian financial services landscape — and, certainly, in other industries as well – strong translators are priceless.
They help a company make its marketing, advertising, regulatory and legal documents available in our other official language, so their company can be more successful doing business with French-speaking clients.
Once you have a team of great translators, you’ll want them to stay. Whether you oversee a translation team or work with translators on certain projects, here are a few tips for keeping them happy and productive.
Get the translators involved early on
Translation isn’t just about converting English words into French.
There’s an art to making existing marketing or advertising copy work equally well (or even better) in another language, to flow seamlessly and be impactful for the reader. To do this, the translators need to be briefed along with the writers and designers, so they understand the concepts, key messages, target audience, products and so on.
Give them time to come up with adaptations
Let’s face it, we’ve all been in brainstorming meetings where we come up with a fantastic name for a product or a catchy tagline. As we’re busy high-fiving each other, someone needs to think about whether this name or tagline works in French. Quite often it doesn’t, so the translation team needs to put on their creative caps and adapt the term in French.
As we’re busy high-fiving each other, someone needs to think about whether this name or tagline works in French.
Commit to keeping things on par
By this, we mean that whenever there are any changes to English copy, charts, tables, etc., this must be communicated fully and in a timely fashion to the translators.
“Version control” can be a nightmare for any marketer, but imagine how much worse it is when you’re trying feverishly to keep pace with last-minute English changes so you can maintain accurate, up-to-date French collateral. Which takes us to our final tip…
Don’t squeeze your translators for time
Projects almost always run into snags, causing tasks to be delayed and timelines to compress. Well, guess who usually bears the worst of it? That’s right … your translation team, which is usually at the back end of most projects and sees their translation time shrink fast.
Instead, be more disciplined and diligent about keeping everyone on schedule. If things derail, try to extend the end deadline or shave some time off other tasks so the translation team doesn’t suffer.
If things derail, try to extend the end deadline or shave some time off other tasks so the translation team doesn’t suffer.
Not only will you get better French output, but your English materials might also improve.
After all, one thing we know is that translators are great at catching mistakes, inconsistencies and unclear writing in English documents. They’re a fresh set of eyes that can help immensely with quality control – if you give them the time they need!