TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Re: How do you ensure the quality of translations?
Subject:Re: How do you ensure the quality of translations? From:poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net To:"Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:12:02 +0000
To address your second paragraph statement about translations being done best in the country of origin, it ain't necessarily so -- at least not in my case.
At the end of March, I started with a China-based company which makes heavy equipment. The engineering and sales office where I'm located is staffed by about 25 or 30 folks, pretty much split one-half U.S. citizens and the rest native Chinese who are very new to this country; they are all VERY great people and nice to work with; the company is sort of the Caterpillar company of China.
I like what I do and had already worked for some years documenting the same equipment for another other manufacturer. The problem here, though, is this company's practice of producing English-language documentation in China for U.S. distribution; the docs are _horribly_ written because (I've been told) they simply run the Chinese text through a software program and take what they get (so to speak).
The binding and physical appearance of the stuff is great and was done for surely pennies-on-the-dollar compared to what it would cost here. But with apparently no English-articulate personnel in China actually reading the stuff, my coworker and I spend hours and hours trying to decipher the actual intent of the text (it would be nice if it were only misspellings, but it's w-a-y worse than that). Plus, we here also write totally new docs for U.S.-targeted products.
So to re-state, make sure someone over "there" is English-articulate enough to review the translated docs before getting them to you.
Just my 2 cents (yep, they have those in China, too).
-- Kenpo in Atlanta
-------------- Original message from "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>: --------------
> By having someone who is knowledgeable in the subject matter *and* a
> native speaker of the target language review the result (service techs
> are my favorites). If possible, have the same person on the review
> cycle for the original English version as well.
> If possible, I prefer to have my translations done by translators in the
> target language's country. Not always possible, of course, and if not,
> I prefer translators who employ people who are native speakers of the
> target language.
> Gene Kim-Eng
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare,consultant)"
> > Does anyone have any tips on how to verify the quality of a translated
> > document? How do you *know* that the work you get is good, especially
> > if
> > you cannot read the translation?
> > In a related vein, what are some tricks for picking out a good quality
> > translation company?
Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-