Translating technical documents? Trying to open up a new market? The number of requests for help that you get from people who speak the same language you speak will be multiplied many times when you start to send your materials out in other languages. Cultural differences, differences in experience and outlook will all complicate the message. The translation itself can be more costly if you are not careful with your wording. If your content is confusing, it method additional time with the translator. A without of clarity can be expensive. You can reduce your costs and get your message across more effectively. Here are 10 ways to keep your costs down and your message clear.
1. Use pictures – They have gotten ideas across clearly and effectively for centuries. already before people had language, they could get their point across with pictures.
2. Be consistent – Use the same term for the same object every time you refer to the object. Every time you vary a name or use an alias, you introduce confusion.
3. Use a subset of your native language – Reducing the number of individual words you use simplifies translation and reduces calls for explanations.
4. Be concise – Simple sentences carry information well. Leave out prepositional phrases and technical explanations that aren’t needed by the readers.
5. Use structure – Structure method that all similar material is chunked together making translation easier because context provides answers for some questions.
6. Avoid redundancy – Your substantial structure will average that topics come up in only one place. If you realize that you are repeating information, fix the structure.
7. Use tables – For specifications, settings, or other material that can be organized in columns and rows, take advantage of that formatting to make it easy on the reader.
8. Avoid contractions – Words like don’t and can’t slow down translation and often don’t have an easy style in other languages. Don’t use ’em.
9. Be clear – State directions in numbered steps and in the simplest language. Describe elements in as few commonly used words as possible.
10. Avoid complicate words – Words that have more than one meaning slow translation down. They can also dramatically change the meaning of a sentence.
Conclusion: Your translated materials will be more cost effective in translation costs and customer service costs and unprotected to the results you are after with applicable, structured, clear, concise communication.