How to prepare to work on a translation project?



The process of transposing words from one language to the other, keeping the closest natural equivalent to the source language in both meaning and style.

How to prepare to work on a translation project?

A successful translation project is the result of planning ahead, using the right strategies, and being efficient. This article is intended to help translators do a better job in a timely manner.

An outstanding translation project depends on many factors. Here at Multi-Languages Corporation, we recommend the following tips that will help your translation project run smoothly.

→ Plan ahead. Include translation as an element of your project and not at the end of production. This will anticipate costs and keep you on budget!

→ Have a final version of the document to be translated revised for content, before you submit it for translation. → Provide background information that may be useful to the translator for consistency in style and terminology. This may include previous translations, glossaries, terminology databases, published information about the product or service and the organization’s website address. This information may prove to be extremely helpful to the project’s success.

→ If the source text has illustrations, provide them to the translator. It may assist him/her to understand ambiguities in the text that otherwise may not be noticed.

→ Allow enough time for the translation to be completed, give realistic timelines. → Establish a contact person to answer the translator’s questions. An inquisitive translator is an asset to the project.

Project Information

Provide your translation Project Manager with detailed information about the project.

Detailed Parameters at: Structured Specifications and Translation Parameters

Source Document

Write with the translation in mind. A good source text (well written, legible) is the first step for a good translation. Avoid jargon and keep the technical terminology consistent. For abbreviations, always include the meaning.

Target Document

Remember that the text may expand in translation, you need to take this into account when writing and doing the layout. In some cases, you may need up to 40% more space in the target language. If the document already exists, be prepared to adapt it and change the format to fit the new text.

Target Audience

Inform the translation provider who would be the target audience and what is the intention of the text. Do not assume the target readership for your translation will be similar to the original (level of education, cultural background, income, etc).

Use For The Translation

For information (internal use) or for publication (brochures, manuals, websites).

Required Method of Presentation File format, delivery requirements, special formatting.


Create realistic deadlines. How much time did you spend creating the original text? A translator may need the same amount of time to translate it.

A translator can produce between 1500-2500 words per day, this varies according to length, complexity, and familiarity with the source text. However, a translation process that includes quality assurance measures goes beyond the “number of words” calculation. (Translation Workflow)

The importance of preparing to work on a translation project

Each translation project has different requirements. Translators need to be meticulous to obtain the desired results. Following the steps mentioned in this article will help you develop a productive translation process.

Multi-Languages Corporation

Send us the documents you would like to have translated. We perform a source text analysis and get back to you with details about your specific project. For new clients, we provide a quote and contract.