When taking on a translation project, preparation is the most important preliminary step.

In fact, it's essentially the foundation of its success. Proper planning not only ensures faster turnaround times but also significantly enhances the accuracy and quality of your translated materials.

So, whether you're looking to expand into new markets or communicate more effectively with foreign partners, understanding how to prepare effectively can streamline the entire process. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to prepare for your next translation project with Wolfestone.


1. Define Your Target Audience and Language Pairs

Understanding your audience is absolutely crucial in determining how your content should be translated.

You need to consider who the end-users of your translated documents are—their age, cultural background, and language preferences.

When selecting language pairs, it’s so more than just translating from English to German, for example, but considering regional dialects and variations. For instance, if your target audience is in Austria, you’ll need to account for nuances specific to Austrian German.

This careful attention to detail ensures that your translated content resonates well with its intended audience.


2. Setting Deadlines

Timelines can greatly influence the choice between different translation processes. Assess the scope of your project and set realistic deadlines.

For urgent projects, you might consider AI-driven translations or a combination of AI with human post-editing to speed up the process without sacrificing too much precision.

However, for projects where nuance and context are hugely critical, human translators are indispensable. Remember, while tight deadlines are manageable, they can sometimes compromise the finer details of translation accuracy.


3. Determine Word Count and Document Scope

Begin by quantifying the scope of your project through a precise word count.

This not only helps in estimating the effort required but also in budgeting accurately.

Larger documents or projects with extensive technical jargon may need more time and resources.

An accurate word count helps translation service providers like us here at Wolfestone to plan better and allocate the right resources to ensure quality output.


4. Identify and Communicate Key Terminology

Every industry features specific jargon and each brand has a unique voice. To ensure consistency across your translated materials, it's essential to clearly identify and communicate these specialised terms to your translation team.

Developing a comprehensive glossary that includes key terms, preferred translations, and context-specific notes can significantly aid translators.

This process ensures that specialised terms are consistently translated across different languages and also helps translators understand the context and importance of each term.

Maintaining such detailed guidance helps preserve your brand’s identity and professional integrity in foreign markets.

Effectively communicating this terminology and nuances ensures that translations align with your global communication strategy, reinforcing your brand’s messaging across all markets.

This preparation is paramount for delivering accurate and resonant translations that effectively reach your target audiences.


5. Provision of Style Guides and Branding Materials

Providing us with style guides and access to previously translated materials is a must for maintaining the consistency of your brand's tone and style across languages.

Style guides outline preferences for tone, voice and specific phrasings, helping translators capture your brand’s unique personality.

Additionally, access to a library of previously translated content and branding documents ensures that new translations align with existing materials, reinforcing brand coherence across all markets.

Including a feedback mechanism for translators to suggest updates based on their insights can further enhance the relevance and impact of your translations.

By leveraging these resources effectively, the team at Wolfestone ensures that every translation meets linguistic standards and resonates with your target audience, strengthening your global brand identity.


6. Prepare Your Files for Translation

Preparing your documents in a translatable format is needed for an efficient translation process. Editable formats like Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, or HTML allow translators direct access to your content, facilitating straightforward edits and ensuring that original formatting is maintained.

For documents in non-editable formats like PDFs or scanned images, the process can become more complex.

At Wolfestone, we offer conversion  to transform these into translatable formats, utilising advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology and manual adjustments to preserve the accuracy and layout of the original documents.

Additionally, organising content logically and marking special instructions or non-editable sections can greatly enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the translation process.

By ensuring that your files are properly prepared, you set the stage for a smooth translation workflow, allowing translators to focus on delivering high-quality, precise translations.


7. Consider Desktop Publishing (DTP) Needs

Language variations can significantly affect the layout of your materials; for example, German text may expand by about 30% compared to English. These differences impact the design of both printed and digital content, influencing everything from font sizes to image placements.

Addressing desktop publishing (DTP) needs early in the translation process is required. It ensures that the final document is visually appealing and maintains readability in the target language. Effective DTP adjusts layouts to accommodate text expansion or contraction, preserving the aesthetic and functional integrity of your materials.

We offer  DTP services that work in tandem with our translation services.

Our DTP experts collaborate with translators to seamlessly integrate translated content into your existing formats, adjusting design elements as needed to ensure professional results. This integrated approach streamlines the translation process and also enhances the overall quality and consistency of your global communications.

So as you can see, preparing for a translation project involves much more than simply handing off documents for translation.

By defining your audience, setting clear deadlines, preparing your files appropriately, and considering your branding and DTP needs, you can significantly influence the success of your translation projects. 

Proper preparation leads to translations that are not only accurate but also resonate with your target audience.

Ready to get started on your translation project or need further assistance with your preparation? Contact Wolfestone UK today.

Our team is ready to help you prepare your files, perform DTP adjustments, and advise on the best use of AI or human translation services tailored to your needs.