Teamwork, makes the dream work! #TeamMAPA

Today’s Latest & Greatest “Tuesday Thoughts” is all about the importance of what our clients can do to prepare and set things up for success on each and every translation project!

We believe that the translation process is all about the teamwork!

Let’s take the example of a written translation. Perhaps you need to have an informational brochure about your business, program or event translated. 

You know that you want to have it translated by a professional because it’s a public-facing and important document, you’ve found a language service provider (LSP) that you like and trust – hopefully MAPA Translations, Inc. – and you’re ready to get a quote and move forward with the project.

Even though everything is lined up, you’re not quite sure how you’re guaranteed to receive a high-quality translation and neither you nor anyone on your internal team speaks the languages your content is being translated into.

So, how will you know if the translation is of the highest quality?

Steps to Take Before the Translation Process Begins

We recommend that you talk to the contact person at the agency you’re working with (usually Mateus!) first and also take the following steps before the translation process even begins: 

1. Make sure the final version of the document (source file) is spell-checked and really 100% final before you send it out for translation. 

Making edits or changes after the translation team has started working on the document can slow things down and create inconsistencies. 

2. Allow extra space for text expansion; different languages take different amounts of space to say the same thing. 

Fun fact: Did you know that Spanish can take up to 25% more space when compared to English and that Chinese takes up even less space? 

3. Consider reformatting to eliminate all extra spaces and unnecessary line breaks. 

Most translators and translation agencies work with programs that help with the translation process and ensure greater constituency (Translation Memory, TM, software).

TM software breaks the text up into segments for translation. So, if a line break is inserted in the middle of a sentence, that sentence will become two incomplete segments in the TM program. This can create major problems and confusion during the translation process.

4. The original source file should be written in the tone, formality, and reading level you would like your translations delivered in, with a focus on your target audience. The translation team will mirror the style of the source language unless otherwise instructed.

We often find that the original tone or “register” is not culturally and/or linguistically appropriate for the target audience our client is trying to reach so adjustments are needed! 

5. Be as specific as possible regarding the format or other expectations regarding the final product.

Is there a specific font or font size? Do you need the document as a PDF or other format? 

6. If you don’t already have a glossary and style guide, now’s a good time to create them! MAPA recommends this for all clients who have translations done regularly. 

Glossaries can be monolingual to help the translators understand industry-specific terms, or they can be bilingual so that the language teams know the preferred translations for specific high-frequency words and phrases. 

The style guide also helps the translation team understand how to handle things like measurements, addresses, department names and other “special” items in the source files.

Next Week – Part 2

For next week’s Tuesday Thoughts we’ll talk about what MAPA (the language service provider, LSP) and our Translation Teams do to prepare for and guarantee a successful translation project!

With light and gratitude, 


P.S. Do you have a project that needs translation? Get in touch with us today – you can simply reach out via email,! We’re ready, willing and able to help!

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