In a previous article, we made the list of important things to do before you take on any translation project. You have now reached the final step in your project, and you shouldn’t rush. Indeed, if a translation isn’t properly prepared for delivery, you run the risk of having unpleasant surprises at the end of the project and ruining its overall quality. Moreover, checking a translation takes time because you must revise, check all instructions given and do the follow-up too. Here at Acolad Community, we love making checklists. So, here is another list containing all the things you need to do before delivering your translation:
Why do you have to check everything before delivering your translation?
It’s no secret that being a translator means being a wordsmith. The translator must be rigorous and pay attention to every detail (looking out for typos, syntax or grammatical mistakes, unclear segments), whether they are translating or managing a project. If the translator doesn’t take time to check that their translation is flawless, and/or fails to delivers their work in the right format, the project will be of poor quality, even if the translation is good. You are likely to lose credibility and your clients and Project Managers will lose trust in you.
Re-read your translation carefully
Proofreading your translation is without doubt the step that you can’t afford to neglect under any circumstances. We have already given you some tips on how to proofread your text properly. Take your time to check for spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, omissions and mistranslations that could ruin a translation. Take the opportunity to run a quality assurance control (QA Checker) if you work with a CAT Tool.
Proofreading a translation is not restricted to syntax and linguistic rules, you should also check the layout of the final target page. Is the layout the same as the source page? Have bold/italics/underlining etc. in the source text been replicated in the translation? Are there any text boxes that need re-sizing? Are all headers/footers correctly displayed?
In a nutshell, check BOTH form and content.
Notify the Project Manager about any questions regarding terminology
Sometimes translators find segments in the source text that are harder to translate and have doubts about a specific term or sentence. If so, you should contact the Project Manager or Key Account Manager regarding any such questions or decisions so that this can be forwarded to the proofreader or client (where applicable). This way, there will be no misunderstandings when delivering, and proofreading will be easier. 😉
Check all initial instructions
A translator may be so busy with their translation that they may forget to follow all the instructions given at the beginning of the project, regarding the deadline, the format of the file (pdf, excel, word), as well as appendices. Unfortunately, delivery of incomplete translations is a regular occurrence, so make sure that the deadline is still the same, no files are missing and that all translated documents have the same format as the source text.
Make notes on the project
You’ve reread your translation, checked its format and followed all the instructions given. Well done! But it’s not over yet. Remember to save the project to your archives and see how it has evolved. Note all aspects that need improvement for future projects, of course, but don’t forget to take note of all the positive aspects too. Making a checklist of things to improve/apply for next time will save you time and increase efficiency for future projects. You will also need to update your translation memory if you translated it with CAT Tool software.
Once you have completed every step, delivering your translation will no longer be so stressful! Having answers to these questions may not protect you against every eventuality, but at least you will finish your project calmly and ensure its good quality, no matter what happens. 😉