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Tips and Free Resources  ANGLOS d.o.o.
Keršova 12
SI-3212 Vojnik, Slovenia

tel: +386 (0)591 990 17
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e-mail: info|at|anglos.si

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We hope you will find the following information useful.
Free Translations

There are quite a few machine translation tools available on the Web; these free applications enable you to quickly get the gist of what a text in a foreign language is about, however in most cases they can hardly aspire to replace a human translator. In addition, free translation tools supporting Slovenian language are still quite rare. We were curious and so we tested a lot of different web translation tools and decided this one was probably the best:

We cannot be held responsible for the quality of translations the above site will provide you with nor the damage or inconvenience you may suffer as a consequence. As a precaution, you should always treat these translations as highly unreliable.

Should you have need for high-quality translation of your text let us know.

Making sure the translation of your website is really good

I've just had my website translated into a foreign language. How do I know if the translation is any good?

There are several ways to find out. Invite your business partners, friends and acquaintances to your freshly-translated website - preferably the ones who are native speakers of the target language. They're likely to give you their honest opinion on your website. If you learn they became confused about what exactly you're selling after reading your website or they nodded off working their way through it, well, then you just might have a slight problem. If they found your message unclear, this could be due to mistranslations (mistranslations occur when, for example, somebody translates a tank into a tanker or a proscription into a prescription). If they got bored out of their wits, this might be due to poor choice of words and inappropriate style.

Remember: a bad translation can in fact be much more costly than a good one; a poorly-translated website turns potential customers away instead of bringing them to you.

Selecting the Best Language Service Provider

Always define in advance what you want and when you want it done. Make sure that the person who took your order also understood it and noted down your requests. Have them summarize your order to make sure there was no miscommunication. Do not be embarrassed to ask questions; it's your money and there are plenty of alternatives. Select the one that suits you best. Most of all, demand a pro-forma invoice and do not let them change the price afterwards.

Negotiating a Better Price

Always demand a discount, if there are repetitions within the text you are submitting, or similarities with texts you have had translated before by the same provider. Check if they also offer volume discounts or discounts based on monthly amount of translation jobs.

Request offers from different providers; do not be embarrassed to demand explanation why prices differ between providers. Until you know exactly what is included in the price, you cannot be sure which provider gives you the best value for your money.

Increasing the Translation Quality

Remember that speed and quality are sometimes mutually exclusive. Always check with your provider how many translators will be needed for your translation; if a short deadline requires multiple translators to get the job done, you can be sure a proofreading session might be necessary afterwards (especially if the translators did not use CAT tools) due to greater inconsistencies between their contributions.

If you really want the best provider, have a shorter version of your text (to keep the cost low) translated by the providers that appeal to you most. After you have received the translations, have an independent expert evaluate them and go with the highest scoring provider.

Furthermore, make sure the translation is direct - from the original language into the target language. If, for example, a Slovenian original is first translated into English and then into Japanese, a severe drop in quality of the translation might occur. In such cases, extra measures need to be taken to ensure the quality of the translation is maintained as opposed to normal, direct translations. Check what the provider offers in this regard and how they propose to maintain the quality.

Last but not least, prepare the text that needs to be translated properly or have the provider do that; proper preparation of the text can dramatically increase the quality and decrease the price of the translation and for this reason the whole next section is dedicated to this issue.

Preparing text for translation

If you prepare your text properly before ordering the translation, your translations will be ready faster and most likely they will also be cheaper and better. Your translation provider may alert you if your text is not truly translation-ready; well in case they don't we prepared a list of useful tips for you.

Leave enough room for translation

When formatting your files, always remember that the text is likely to become longer during translation. Do not fill every corner of your page with text, leave ample free space on every page instead; the source text may fit onto one page while the target text (translation) might be much longer. This will affect pagination and position of images; the whole document will be longer and some aesthetic appeal could be lost.

Not everyone reads from left to right

When preparing the text for translation you might want to remember that not all languages are written from left to right; some might flow from right to left, others from top to bottom. The document layout should allow for these circumstances, especially if you plan to have your document translated into many different languages.

The cutest typeset might not be the most practical one

It is generally better to avoid unusual fonts as it is quite possible your font doesn't support all the characters of the target language. If nothing else, at least check what font the translators will have to use and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Abbreviations not always A-OK

Be sure to define all abbreviations the first time you use them in your text. You only need to do this once and it will not take much of your time - simply write down (in brackets) what the abbreviation stands for. This way you will avoid potential problems during translation. Remember, one abbreviation may mean several different things. Make it clear which meaning you had in mind, especially if this is not absolutely clear from the context. AA for example can stand for anything from Adverse Action to Accredited Appraiser. This way you might also discourage ambitious translators, who charge by the length of translation, from writing out the complete expression every time the abbreviation comes up.

Let's T&T (type and transcribe)

If possible, make sure the text for translation is always available in a digital, editable format. Language service providers will likely charge extra if your text needs to be transcribed from paper; it is wise to check whether the transcription might actually be cheaper if ordered elsewhere. On the other hand, if you find out your provider does not need a digital version of your text, it is likely they are not using CAT tools and cannot offer any of the advantages (speed, consistency) CATs provide. In each case: if the source text is only available on paper, the translation is likely to take more time as the text will either have to be transcribed or the translator and consequently you will not benefit from computer support.

Why translate stuff you don't really need?

Carefully review the text that is to be translated. Shorten the parts where you may have used too many words, or erase parts that you do not need translated at all. Not only will the translation be cheaper, it will also be done faster.

Pictures do not always translate well

If your text contains many graphic elements, you should check with your translation service provider how this might affect the translation process. Will the provider able to insert your pictures and charts into the translation? How much will that cost? Is it perhaps wiser to omit the graphics from the source text altogether, include only the bare text they contain, and leave the re-insertion and re-design of the graphic elements to your designer?

Local lingo and international audience

Often vernacular expressions and proverbs are not well suited for the text you wish to have translated. If the purpose of your text is to present the local culture or linguistic curiosities then these are alright. However, if you wish to emphasize, for example, the international spirit of your company, it is perhaps better to express yourself in a less culturally-specific manner. Remember that proverbs and verses you chose to include in your text might change significantly in the target language (not every culture necessarily has an equivalent saying or expression) and that many rhymes could be lost. Most important of all: never forget that only a good and experienced translator will be able to properly adapt a vernacular, culturally-specific text to your target audience. This pretty much means you will not be able to hire the lowers bidder and hope for the best.

Editing & proof-reading before translation

Last but not least: it is often a good idea to have the source text proof-read or edited before forwarding it to your translator(s). We highly recommend this option if your chosen translation agency doesn't analyse the source before translation since proof-reading can reveal mistakes, inconsistencies and omissions in the source text that could easily affect the quality of final product (translation).

Need more tips? Please contact us.

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