Why Is It Difficult To Translate Documents?

Why Is It Difficult To Translate Documents?

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Let’s talk about one very specific niche, the translation of documents. To be fair, this topic alone is very challenging, as there are a plethora of challenges people usually need to overcome if they translate documents on a regular basis. Today, we want to cover these challenges and discuss how to eliminate them.

#1. Formats 

One of the main challenges is that companies need to translate documents in various file formats. What if you find a solution for Office file, but not for an InDesign file? What if your office files have special formatting (e.g. only the columns marked green should be translated from your Excel file)? What if you need to translate scanned PDF files? What if in your software files, you need to define exceptions (e.g. in XML files)?

Finding a solution, which will cover all of these, and many more is not an easy task. However, nowadays, it’s easier than ever before. Depending on your needs, you can choose fast translation services that guarantee the fastest document translation with the most competitive price on the market. Or, if your needs are more complex, you can go for an advanced translation platform with a Translation Management System as the backbone. 

#2. Versions

If you translate one version of your manual or product catalog today, how will you handle any updates to the file next week? After all, you don’t want to translate the whole content from scratch, as you want to keep costs as low as possible.

A proper TMS can help you with this. It will compare current versions of files with previously translated versions and only extract the new content for translation. This way, you can focus on your content, not finding the differences between two versions for translation purposes.

#3. Re-using old translation

Often, clients already have old versions of their translated documents. It’s only logical that they ask if they can re-use these translations so that the budget for translations can be kept as low as possible. It’s possible to do this in many ways, but if you only have old versions of the files, you can still align the old translations, using the TMS.

Aligning of files is a process in which old source files are paired with their respective old translations. The resulting translated pairs are then added to the TMS and can be re-used. The same is true for old terms which you have already defined on a company level. You can create company dictionaries within the TMS and use it consistently in all translation projects.

#4. Context 

Imagine translating a more complex Word file in which text is flowing in two columns, combined with many images or tables. If you were translating this file from English into French, you would need to keep in mind that the text will expand, and probably change the layout of the document. How would you know this?

Well, you could have an option in the TMS to actually preview Office files, so that layout does not become a problem. You could also use the option to upload screenshots for more complex files (like software UI) so that translators don’t have to guess what they are translating.

#5. Collaboration

One of the top challenges is also the fact that you will not be translating most of the documents by yourself. You will need to translate parts of the document, combine this with other parts translated by other colleagues, and then send everything to a third person for review.

If you are doing all of this via e-mail, or services such as Google Docs, it will soon become very tricky to keep track of who is doing what. In a TMS you can create teams for individual projects, collaborate, comment on individual sentences, and speed up the whole translation process.

Translate documents with ease! 

There are certainly many more challenges people face with document translation. We can talk about any additional challenges you face on a regular basis if you are interested. As always, there are no strings attached, but we might be able to help you resolve your issues and make your everyday lives easier – don’t hesitate to contact us

And if you prefer a more compact solution, don’t hesitate to check out our new translation service platform, TUFT – Text United Fast Translation. It can help you with the translation of your documents by providing the fastest speed and lowest cost on the market:

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