How Should I Prepare My Documents Before Translation?

Document translation planning

Every detail counts when you are preparing your documents for translation, whether it is the font you choose or how you space the text. Redesigning the entire document format and layout after translation into another language is a waste of resources, so it is important to be proactive and get it right the first time. There are steps you can take ahead of time to make the original text’s layout easier to edit throughout the translation process.

What Are The Benefits Of Preparing Documents Before Translation?

In an ideal situation, you will have the chance to speak with your chosen translation company about the documents before they are translated. The translation experts at the company will be able to advise you about a language’s nuances and translation concerns you can anticipate, allowing you to address these problems in the initial process of document creation and design. Basically, by preparing a document for translation, you are presenting your business with the opportunity to save time and money. The more flexible you can make the layout of the original document, the less time and money you will have to spend on reformatting it after translation.

Look Out For Changes In Length And Direction Of Translated Texts

When you are translating English documents into other languages, you should expect changes of the length of text, as other languages simply have longer words, or use several words to convey a concept. Consider this, translating a document can often increase the length of a text block by as much as 1/3, depending on the source and target languages. Text expansion can have a noticeable effect on certain aspects of a document, including spacing and text margins.

As we mentioned before, with certain languages you should expect changes in reading direction. Languages like Arabic and Hebrew are read from right to left, while some languages like Japanese are traditionally read from top to bottom. As you can imagine, translating into these languages requires a significant amount of modification to text alignment and layout.

Tips For Preparing Documents for Translation

It is absolutely essential to plan for text manipulation, and that goes beyond simply writing content that lends itself to translation. There are certain tips you can use in an attempt to minimize future reformatting efforts. First, you should try to maintain white space in the original document to accommodate the text expansion that often comes along with translation. If your text doesn’t have any breathing room, you will end up with too many words for the amount of space you have left. You should try to avoid narrow tables/sidebars. Consider this: if your tables are just the right size in the original document, it is likely that they will not be large enough to house translated copy.

iTi | Personal Document Translation Services

iTi’s dedicated and experienced teams offer a wide range of multilingual solutions for domestic and global corporations in a variety of industries. With our expansive resources, you can take advantage of communication services on a global scale, creating, managing, and distributing your content in any format. You are welcome to contact us to request a quote for your language translation project.


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