Large Translation Jobs Require a Large Thought Process

Your office assistant arrives at your office door with a large binder and one question, “What about these?” You look up from your computer above your glasses and ask the same question, “What about them?” It turns out your assistant has found a large binder of procedures that have not been translated when the company was revising their operations manual and an internal audit is just around the corner. Your response, “Get them to the translator!”

This is normal in the translation world as translating documents is usually something people think about at the last minute. The problem is that translation is still a manual process that takes time. The way to speed up that time is to ensure everyone is organized and on the same page with how documents will be sent and received, the format of the documents, and the type of documents being sent.

We recently had a project that should have been simple in nature. The documents to be translated were sent on Excel sheets in column format with pictures. The captions were to be translated, not a big deal right? Well it turned out to be a big deal for a couple of reasons. One there were over 200 files to be translated in a short period of time. Two the person that built the original file added pictures into the documents but did not adjust them beforehand so each file was large in nature causing issues when sending back and forth. Third the files were organized only by number causing issues when organizing what was to be translated.

Frustrated office worker

These problems may seem small, but caused real havoc when the project started. Organization is key to any large project especially if it is on a short deadline. If you are getting ready for a translation project here are some simple tips you can do to make the project move along smoothly.

  • Make sure your timeline is appropriate to the size of the project.
  • Files are normally sent electronically so ensure they are small enough to be sent via email or by another electronic system.
  • Organize your project so that you know what files you have to translate and where you are in the project with completed work.
  • Have original files in electronic format.

Being organized up front will ensure your project is completed in an organized and timely manner allowing you to save money and get your project completed on time. It may be a small text to be translated but look at the project as a whole for total project structure. Don’t wait until the last minute.

About the Author

Carmen Outridge is the owner of Outridge Translation Services and has been translating documents between English and French for over 30 years. Carmen is from the Eastern Townships part of Quebec and understands the language and dialect of Quebec. To learn more about Outridge Translation Services or to get help with your next project visit

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