Peak Translations

Setting aside adequate time for translation

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as the saying goes. We all know that the most successful projects are the ones that are well planned. When it comes to international projects where there is likely to be a language requirement, however, it’s amazing how often the translation element is overlooked and must be squeezed in at the end.

It is important to allow sufficient time for the translation phase of the project to be completed when planning your project timeline. But what happens when you come up against the unexpected and need something urgently, that hasn’t been scheduled in advance? Well, there’s no need to panic, often it can still be done, it’s just not the ideal scenario from a quality or cost point of view.

Whether it’s manuals for machinery, a clinical report, court documentation or a client’s website, your foreign language speaking audience needs to be afforded the same attention as your English speaking one if your organisation is to realise its ambitions overseas.

Leaving translations until the eleventh hour can have unwelcome repercussions. At best, errors in spelling, grammar, sentence construction and terminology impact your business’ credibility. At worst, your foreign speaking audience is left confused or alienated by your messaging.

Whether your lead time is two months or two weeks, enlisting the support of an experienced translation agency will allow you to tap into their project management expertise.

So how much translation time should you set aside when running international projects?

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that, when done well, there are many facets to translation:

  • There’s the actual process of translation which involves close inspection of the source language; deriving the meaning; and then creating the equivalent text in the target language. Like any form of copy, the translator needs time to think about the best way to convey a particular phrase or message.


  • Our translators can work anywhere between 2000 – 4000 words per day depending on the language combination and complexity of the document/ requirement for subject matter expertise.


  • Value added activities such as second-stage revisions and quality checks by a second translator.


  • Effective project management, including communication with all relevant parties to ensure the project maintains momentum.


  • Attention also needs to be paid to how the content is to be presented to your audience: a simple pdf with few graphics will require less input than a more complex brochure or optimised web copy.


The result of a truly planned approach to your translation project? A finished product that not only reads well in native language but which compels your audience to take the action you’re seeking.





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