Subject: translations
From: Betsy Maaks <bmaaks -at- TELLABS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 08:53:31 -0600

judith -at- CORP -dot- AUSPEX -dot- COM wrote:

I have been asked to have some of our department's documentation
translated from English to Japanese. One document is a FrameMaker 5.5
document that's about 300 pages. The other is a series of HTML

Can anyone recommend a translation service that can handle
FrameMaker and HTML?

Does anyone know how much translation services usually cost?
My response:

Finding a good translator is very important. You need to assess your
needs in the following areas:

1. Do we want an agency or an independent translator? Is this a one-time

work or will the same or similar pieces need to be translated in the
future (for repeated translations of similar material, you may benefit
from using an agency with translation memory tools, which retains your
translated terms for reuse and application to other similar materials).

2. What type of information is being translated? --marketing material?
--technical material with industry-specific terms? You need a translator

who knows your target country and the terms and methods used by that
culture. --computer GUI screens? If so, does the layout of fields and
terms allow for language expansion (languages other than English require

more characters [i.e., room] for letters and words).

3. Do you want a local translator/agency or do you have the methods to
work with one that is not local? Email and FTP file transfers work well.

4. What are the development tools you are using to create the materials
that will be translated? Does the translator/agency have the ability to
work in the same tools?

I'd like to suggest buying a copy of Nancy Hoft's book "International
Technical Writing," 1995, published by John Wiley and Sons. It has a
chapter on selecting and working with translators/agencies.

Some agencies that I am familiar with, but do not endorse or guarantee
their work:

Bureau of Translation Services (NJ)

International Language Engineers (CO)

SimulTrans (CA)

Polyglot (CA)

Iverson (WI)

P.A. Brink (MN)

Adams Translations (TX)

Multiling International (UT)

SH3 Translations (TX)

There are others advertised in the STC publications, but I am at least
acquainted or have spoken with members of the firms listed above. Please

interview and compare all of the firms/individuals you speak with so
you can identify the one that will best meet your needs.

5. Costs vary depending on the services you ask the firm to perform.
Will they be responsible for formatting the translation? Is there text
in any graphics to translate, especially graphics created in an
that is different from the DTP/word processing application. Are there
computer screens to translate? Translators and translation firms may
estimate costs per word or per page from source language to
target language. Will the translator/firm perform a quality review and
proofreading of the translation? Usually they'll have a second
review the work of the first one.

6. And of course, you will want to have your own reviewer, someone
versed in the target language and your business, perhaps a VAR,
customer or distributor that your company will work with to sell the
item/service in the target country. Enlist their help in reviewing the
translation and providing accurate translations for product- or
industry-specific terms. Create a glossary for the translator/firm
each specific term, its definition, and the selected translation for it.

There's a lot to this, but there's help. Try the ITC SIG with STC. They
have a newsletter and listserver that focuses on this topic. If I can
further, please let me know.

Betsy Maaks
bmaaks -at- tellabs -dot- com

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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