How to Speed Up Document Translation in Chinese With These 3 Simple Steps

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You can make the translators’ life more manageable and the process faster with these simple steps.

It’s an edge for you if you already work with a team of professional translators for long-term.

What you need:

  • English writer who also knows your target market – Chinese consumers
  • A middleman: a project manager/translator. – Check the progress and language nuisances
  • Professional Chinese translators who know your industry.

Step 1: Allow the writers to draft all content first in English

Work with multilingual writers who know your market. The writers must know your target market and industry. Let them draft the content first in easy, general English. They should mark the words and phrases that will have an impact on the translation process.

Technical jargons and terms in respective industries may overwhelm the writing process. Make sure the writer will submit the final draft and review the documents, word by word.

Sometimes, even if it sounds or reads “good or highly professional” it doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to use.

A Chinese translator who encounters the word “bootstrapped company” may have a different meaning.

For the English writer, it means a company whose members used existing resources to start the company.

A general term or phrase “a starting company” or “a start-up company” would make more sense. The texts are for translation into another language, not for the newspaper.

Step 2: Check the English texts then track phrases and sentences

Once the writer submits the final draft in English, let another set of eyes check the document.

A project manager can mark those phrases and sentences that need special attention. In this manner, the texts are “translatable” into Chinese.

If the English writer is sensitive to the choice of words, it makes it easier for the team to process the texts.

For example, a choice of the word like “Liaison Officer in Europe” could be the choice of phrase or job title of the writer who understands that the company provides an officer to “form a working relationship between two organizations to their mutual benefit.”

But that word choice is acceptable for an English audience. Meanwhile, “Official Representative in Europe” can help the translator grasp the idea better.

(That’s why a glossary of words is essential in the translation process; where the English writer, project manager, and translators, would all agree on the definitions and usage of the words in a specific project.).

Step 3: Finalize the drafts and send to translators

The English writer and project manager should have agreement on the final draft. Then afterward, send the texts to the Chines translators.

The English documents should have side notes. These will serve as references to translators, especially on words and phrases.

It’s not a good practice to chase the PM or translators to make changes during the translation process.

Allow them to do their work with the supervision of the PM or the in-house representative. It will avoid the “meal-piece” requests that often slow down the progress.

document translation in chinese