It’s easy to feel intimidated about translations if the process is new to you. You might not have a good understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach, and you won’t know if the translations you have done are good or bad.
People often think that all they have to do is give a document to a translation company and they’ll take care of the rest. But this isn’t how it works.
You need to look at the bigger picture. You need a strategy. You need each translation you do to place your organisation higher up the diversity and inclusion ladder.
This article takes those new to it through the translation process.
First: what do you want translated content to do for you?
- More sign-ups to your programme?
- More memberships?
- To increase awareness of a particular problem?
How can translations help you achieve your goals? Think about translations as part of a long-term strategy to reach your purpose.
Second, let’s talk about money – how much does it cost to have material translated?
Translations are often seen as an expensive way to reach #CALD communities. And in some cases that is true. Especially if you want to translate glossy brochures and fancy fact sheets.
But if you are just starting off with a small budget to test the waters, here are some tips to make the translation process as lean and affordable as possible:
- Develop your resource in a Microsoft Office program
Translating in Word/PowerPoint is much cheaper than using graphic design software such as InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop. The process is also much quicker as the quality control procedures are more streamlined.
- Don’t add images that include text
To translate the text of an image, photo editing software such as Photoshop is needed, which increases costs.
- Avoid Canva for developing your resources
Canva doesn’t support most foreign scripts, so again it is more costly because of the preparatory work needed.
It’s important to have a broad organisational translation strategy when preparing your first translation project. Why? Because when it comes to translation, it’s very important to create a solid foundation you can build on.
It’s important to know where you are, where you want to be and map out a translation journey. The quality of your first translation project will set a precedent for future terminology, tone, register and style. Future translations will need to be consistent with your first one, so it’s essential to get it right from the ground up.
Your translation strategy should include:
Glossaries of approved terminology to make sure you always translate terminology the exact same way.
A style guide that dictates how your organisation names other organisations, whether your slogan will be translated and the fonts used for each language.
Your focus languages for the communities you want to target. It’s better to engage with fewer communities but do it well, than do a mediocre job in a lot of languages.
A website that is culturally inclusive across cultures, ages, demographics and abilities will help ensure your organisation is viewed more favourably by visitors. This is essential if your translation project directs people to your website to find out more information.
Once you have built your foundation you are ready to start working on your first translation project.
At Sylaba we understand how difficult it can be to translate material for the first time. To help, we have created a set of Covid Response Translation Packages for organisations just starting out on their translation journey. They are designed to become the foundation of your translation strategy so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each piece of content.
As part of this we run strategy sessions where we help you work out what’s the best first step, how much can be done with very little and the impact that you can make in underrepresented communities.
Head to this link to learn more. [https://sylaba.com.au/first-translation-packages/]