It is common knowledge that online courses need to be translated to impart the best training to multilingual workforces. But, some organizations are reluctant to render their online courses into multiple languages. This is because they had bad experiences with vendors, who have made a mess of the translations.
Translations of poor quality affect the meaning of the content, and this could have serious ramifications, especially in the case of compliance courses, where wrong translations of words may lead to legal issues and tarnish the reputation of the company.
I am involved in the translation of different types of eLearning courses into multiple languages, day in and day out and deal with a number of clients.
Based on my experiences, I would like to provide a few tips on reducing translation errors.
Understand client requirement: It is always better to understand the client requirements before translating an online course. The client may have something in mind, but he may not be able to express it. By asking him certain questions, you should clearly know what is in his mind. Once you receive the inputs, you need to go through the content and analyze it comprehensively and ask as many questions as you want till you are clear about the project.
Have background work: You need to do a lot of research on the client and his company. This will give you information on the business they are into and what they do. Sometimes, this research will provide a lot of information in terms of style and technical words that can be very helpful in your translations. It will provide insights and helps to give the important data that can be used for translations.
Check for existing work, if any: You need to check if you can get the information on already translated projects. This will come in handy, while translating the courses. Past information will play a vital role, in terms of the usage of grammar, sentence formation, the style you need to use and abbreviations for some typical words. You can also know more about your client if you can go through the past work.
Check for reference materials: You need to check if you can find any reference material and a checklist that can be act as quality parameters. Reference materials will provide the information on terms, abbreviations related to the subject matter of the content or course.
Use TM data base: You can also consider the translation memory as a reference, while using some technical and typical words. You can also refer to the styles, previously used.
Use an Effective process: You need to use an effective translation process from the beginning to the end. Make sure to define the roles and responsibilities of the resources and the client and involve all the parties in every step. Involve the client as an active participant, if required. You need to monitor every stage of the translation process to get quality deliverables.
Once you receive the content, you need to understand the client requirement and do a thorough background work on the client and his company. See if you can find any existing work, feedback, reference materials or translation memory that is useful for your translation. Most importantly, use an effective process to involve both the parties – the client and the translator. By considering these, you can avoid most errors.
Do you agree with me? Please share your views.