Translating eBooks: A Guide to Working With the Right Translation Services Company

eBooks are a fantastic way to garner interest in your business, regardless of your industry.

If you’re looking to be a part of this 266 million dollar business, you’ll want to think bigger than just releasing the eBook in your native language.

Finding a reputable translating services company can help you spread your message to the world. Of course, that’s often easier said than done.

Here are a few quick tips on translating your content and finding a company that specializes in translating ebooks.

Avoid Translating eBooks Yourself

It’s understandable that you may feel tempted to translate your eBook in-house in an attempt to save time and money. Many companies often try to use existing employees who have knowledge of another language thinking that the end result will be close to perfect.

While that’s admirable, it isn’t advised.

In fact, attempting to translate an eBook when you don’t have specific knowledge of industry terminology or proper tone is a surefire way to end up with a mess on your hands.

Learning a new language is a lot like picking up a new instrument in that it takes a great deal of time and finesse to master, especially when you consider the syntactical differences of each language. The same goes for individuals who have an inherent knowledge of a language but little or no training in how to use that skill to translate content properly.

It takes professional translators years to master industry jargon, audience tonality, and cultural nuances. Using someone internally, while certainly tempting, will more than likely leave you with an end product that isn’t as effective as it could be.

Your eBooks give some of the best insight into how your company operates and can cement you as a thought leader in your industry. Professional translators can help you make sure the message you originally created is coming through loud and clear.

Consider Which Languages You’ll Want To Translate To

It’s believed that there are an estimated 6,500 languages in the world. Needless to say, you have quite a few options when it comes to translating your eBook.

That doesn’t mean you’ll want to translate your book into every language, however. Instead, you should take a more careful and calculated approach.

When assessing languages, consider your target audience. Who is it you’re trying to reach?

If you’re attempting to spread your message to the widest possible audience, you’ll want to look at some of the most commonly spoken languages.

These include:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Arabic
  • German

Don’t Rely On Machine Translation

We’ll keep this quick, but under no circumstances should you rely on a machine-based translator like Google Translate for your eBook.

While it’s good for translating quick words or phrases, accuracy isn’t its strong suit. Aside from that, Translate doesn’t take idioms or syntax into account.

There are other machine-based translators on the market, but like Google Translate, they’re far from perfect. Your best bet is to work with another person who understands the complexities of the language and your content.

Tips On Working With The Right Translators

So you have your languages in mind and you know that you want to work with a professional translation service. Now comes the toughest part: Finding the right company to work with.

Here are a few pieces of advice to help you make a decision.

Find A Translator Who Can Capture Your Tone And Message

It’s important that you and your translation services provider have similar goals in mind. Furthermore, they should be able to take your copy and translate it in a manner that retains as much of its original tone as possible.

Note that some things will ultimately get lost in translation or may require a bit of adjustment. That’s part of the game.

Other languages may not have a word comparable to the word you chose in English. A good professional translator will be able to find the best possible alternatives while still preserving your overall message.

Consider Your Time Frame

One of the first questions you should ask your translation service is how long their projects tend to take. Obviously, some of this will depend on the length of your work.

However, a reputable service should have the capability to deliver a well-executed project in a matter of weeks.

You’ll also want to establish a set deadline for your translators. Understandably, the more time they take on the project the longer it takes your product to get to market.

While a little wiggle room is okay, establishing a deadline early on ensures that all parties involved are on the same page.

Clarify Royalty And Payment Standards

To avoid accidentally overspending on the project, clarify any and all expected charges.

Make sure to read over your contract with caution and establish what, if any, royalties the company will receive.

You should retain the rights to your work, even post-translation. However, your agreement could include a small royalty fee from each overseas sale.

Look For A Company With Experience

The good thing about using a human translator is that you’ll have no trouble finding one online. The bad news is that you’re not guaranteed quality.

First and foremost, any translator you work with should have a great deal of experience with the project’s languages and types of content

This is especially important when you consider how languages evolve over time. The word ‘minute’ for instance, while primarily a measurement of 60 seconds, is now slang for something occurring over a great deal of time.

Industry terminology can also have numerous different meanings depending on context and local understanding. Your translator should be up to date on all of these aspects to better get your points across without sacrificing your original intent.

Always Ask For Samples

Experience is one thing, but a translator’s work will speak for itself.

Ask for a series of samples before signing a contract. Make sure they’ve tackled similar projects and are capable of handling a project similar to eBook translation.

If possible, ask for referrals as well.

Inquire About Proofreading

Finally, ensure that your translator is going to proofread the work before sending it your way. This isn’t always guaranteed, despite what you may think.

Again, this is why it’s always important to read over your agreement. Some companies only translate with minimal to no proofreading.

Translating eBooks For Your Marketing Strategy: A Few Final Words

Translating eBooks is a monumental task for any company and it’s rarely as straightforward as you may think. That’s why you’ll want to be sure that you pick someone capable of handling your work.

If you’re considering eBook translation services, get in touch today and request a quote.


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