When many translation projects are submitted to language service providers (LSPs), they often require service on a rush or emergency basis. The overall timelines have to be short while still maintaining as much accuracy as possible. So the question is, how can you guide your LSP to hurry but not sacrifice quality completely?
Keep reading for four strategies to maintain accuracy while getting your project done on time.
Shorten administrative time
A significant portion of any project timeline is the administrative time required to quote and launch the project. Look for an LSP that can quickly handle your requests and get your project into production immediately. An LSP that invests in the automation of mundane tasks like proposal generation, file archival, generation of the regulatory compliance materials, and project delivery rank high on your list of potential vendors. Those tasks do not add value or quality to the final result of your project.
Automation of mundane tasks will also free up the production team to focus on quality assurance, glossary building, and addressing questions from the translation team.
Suggest alternate workflows
Translation providers that carry various ISO registrations like the 17100, 9001 and 13485 have to follow precise guidelines on how they handle quality assurance. This set of procedures includes the proper steps to follow during the translation phase of a project. That includes using two linguists to complete the translation, independent proofreading, and functional review steps. The functional review step is when an editor reviews the translation in the final format intended for the user.
This workflow can be modified depending on the complexity of the source content, the intended audience, and the level of risk associated with the source content.
Here are some concrete examples of how to adjust the workflow to save some time.
- One linguist or translator assigned to the project
If your project is for internal use, you might be fine with the potential for a typo every now and then. Using one translator who reviews his or her work will save you time and money. The drawback is the potential for a typo that might get through the process.
- Add linguists or translators assigned to the project
If your project is quite large but still requires a faster timeline, your LSP can add more translators to the team. A good translator can typically complete about 2,500 words per day, and a good editor can complete about 6,000 words of review per day. Adding more translators and editors to the mix can shorten the timeline, but there is a point of diminishing returns.
Work closely with your LSP to figure out where the line exists. Discuss with your LSP how they will mitigate the potential of inconsistency by adding more translators. Specifically, ask if they use a cloud-based translation memory tool that will allow sharing the translation memory in real-time so that all translators on the project can work form the same database of completed translations.
Keep your file format simple
After translation and editing, your LSP has to handle the desktop publishing aspects of your project. A simple MS Word file flows through a translation workflow faster than a Photoshop or Illustrator file with embedded text. Work with your LSP to discuss ways to make the desktop publishing portion of your project faster. Discussing the file format and any potential pitfalls in the formatting of the source content will save you time.
Give your LSP a heads up if you can
While it may seem obvious, if you can let your LSP know that a rush project is in the works and what languages will be involved, they can put their teams on standby and prepare reference material to make the job go more smoothly.
The most important question to understand when selecting your approach to your next rush project is, how much risk am I willing to take to finish sooner? Typically finishing translation projects more quickly requires an adjustment to workflow, which may have ramifications on quality. Have a detailed discussion with your LSP so that you are both comfortable with your level of risk and the resulting timeline.
Ready to get a project started? Contact Argo to get an idea of what it will take to get your translation back to you as quickly and accurately as possible.
Peter founded Argo Translation, originally based in Milwaukee, WI, in 1995. Prior to transferring his love of all things international and his savvy business expertise into Chicago’s premier translation agency, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a major in finance and human resource management. After graduation he went on to become an Italian translator and project manager for an international medical equipment manufacturer and major airline.