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Why should you ask about the workflow for handling large translation projects?

You should always ask your translation agency about their workflow. This will help you to understand if they have professional work practices.

To help ensure a timely completion and accurate translation for a large project, a rigorous translation workflow should be in place. There are three main stages and different steps within each stage.

Before translation

1. Requirements validation: getting to know the client’s requirements should be all part of the service. This includes article types, translation style, target language, quality level and turnaround time. Also, to help ensure that the translation agency and client are on the same page, a sample translation and regular communications will enable both parties to agree from the outset on the style of the translation and tone of voice. After these, requirement analysis will have to fully understand client’s requirements and to ensure meet them all to the most extent.

2. Pretreatment: to turn the manuscript into electronic files. Most agencies can also help with writing and editing the source text to ensure it is polished.

3. Resource matching: naturally, you would expect the most appropriate translator with the most appropriate background to be allocated to provide the most professional translation.

During translation

1. Division: to set clear scope and work schedules, the project might be divided among different translators. (This also depends on the required turnaround time and the volume of text for translation.) However, having distinct delineations for content will keep clients informed of completion rates.

2. Manuscript distribution: distribute the planned tasks to translators.

3. Translation: translators translate the content with the help of translation tools. They will also maintain regular contact with each other to help ensure consistency. The Project Manager oversees progress and coordinates work/updates/changes.

4. Proofreading: the proofreaders will carefully check for accuracy of translation, consistency of style and completion of all client requirements.

After translation

1. Quality control: double-check the translation by inspecting the content and during typesetting of the translation according to the client’s requirements.

2. Delivery: send the translated text to the client in the requested format.

3. Feedback/modification: maintain communications with the client for clarifications, updates and changes as directed by the client.

By understanding the workflow of the translation project, you can know how your project will be handled. You will also be able to judge the professionalism of the translation agency and the quality of your translation project.

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