Blog Post

Don’t fall at the final hurdle

What do you think is the final hurdle in the translation process and how can you minimise the pressure of getting over it? Let’s imagine; the printing slot has been booked, the deadline is looming and you are panicking about getting your brochures printed for your export trip to Rome. Much is riding on the trip’s success and you are crossing your fingers that the translated brochure will be ready to take with you before you fly tomorrow afternoon or the day after.

Usually the reason for the panic is because not enough time was factored in from the beginning to allow the final phase of the translation process – the post-translation checking phase. Usually, this is the most likely part of the whole process which gets the stress levels high and has you reaching for the panic button. So how best do you avoid this last minute pressure and maintain a cool head to the end?

The answer is simple; adequate time for all involved to check, fix and check again. Here are three simple points to consider:

1. The final PDF check

Technically, this is “proofreading”; checking the final PDF draft before something goes to print. Agree with your translation service provider up front that the project translator will check the final PDF proof, after the designers have completed the typesetting. Most likely the designers do not speak the target language and can easily introduce errors into otherwise perfect text which can go undetected.

2. Work directly with designers

The best scenario is for your translation service provider to work directly with your designer. This speeds up the final checking process and allows for any last minute error detections when the translator is checking the proof. The translator should highlight and annotate any necessary amendments in the PDF, send it directly to the translation service provider, who should have the designer make the necessary amendments.

3. Check and re-check!

This cannot be emphasised enough. Ultimately, this process should be repeated until the checking translator finally concludes that the PDF is totally error-free. When this stage is reached, the PDF should be checked once more by the translation provider before going to print (or live in the case of a website). Failure to allow sufficient time or not to allow this process to take its course will inevitably increase the likelihood of errors and this will reflect badly on you, your brand and your product or service.

The moral of the final hurdle? Adequately plan in sufficient time for checking from the beginning and don’t be tempted to rush or cut corners with this vital stage of the process. Trust me, as a translator myself and as a former translation project manager, you are asking for unnecessary trouble and stress if you fall at the final hurdle.