The Internet has put the world at our fingertips, with most information just a Google Search away. It may be easy to think you can find everything you need with a simple search, including translations. But when quality counts, professional, certified translators are irreplaceable. Read on for a peek behind the scenes of a typical document translation and localization.
A struggling school in southern Texas was about to get an overhaul, including new computers and additional staff, as well as some modifications to their processes and policies. After a year-long search, a new principal from Miami was hired to turn this particular school around, based on his previous success in developing modern lesson plans, and his unique approach to managing faculty.
In his first week, he brought up some documents that outlined the new policies and processes -- ones he had used effectively in the past to turn a school district around. These would be used by the faculty when communicating to parents. But knowing that many of the students’ parents do not speak English, he needed to find a translation service. Executive Language Services set up a three-step TEP Translation.
After translating the set of documents, they were sent on to a second linguist, who serves not only as an editor but a consultant. The editor made several changes and corrections to the initial translation, mostly for clarity, but also for localization. After all, the Spanish spoken in Miami can be vastly different from the Spanish spoken in Texas.
The editor then sent the document to the ELS project manager, who conducted a final proofread and quality assurance check.
Because the principal spoke some Spanish, he was able to read the translated documents. But what he couldn’t have done on his own is the localization aspect. If you’ve taken Spanish in high school or college, you know there can be hundreds of influences across cultures within just one language. Localization was critical in breaking through to this audience.
The result was a breakthrough success, because this new principal was able to communicate not only with his key faculty, but also help them communicate effectively to the parents of their students, making him relatable and an integrated part of the community and school system.
Personalization is important in these days of accessible information. Don’t simply rely on the Internet for document translation. Be sure that a number of eyes are on your key documents, and that the final result is not only quality-checked, but localized for optimum communication.