Preparing Documents for Translation Services

After 30 years of translating for clients I have found that source documents to be one of the issues that causes the most problems with projects. Often translation is thought of last in a project and people are in a rush to have it completed. When planning your project for completion it always helpful to write out all parts of the project so you don’t miss an important step such as translation. By thinking of the project requirements ahead of time you can ensure you have the proper documents ready for a smooth transition.

The reason source documents are so important is that it will save you time and money. When you translate a document there are generally twenty percent more words in French than in English. This is due to the way the language is set, but can cause a lot of issues when a document is formatted. Whether a PDF document, website page, or presentation the additional words can cause a problem when additional characters are added. Text boxes, images, and HTML all change with more words and can throw off finished documents. This is why generic source documents are preferred.

Providing a generic text document is the best source document for translating information. Although we do our best to return completed projects in the format they were supplied in there are many different programs used by clients. Designers know that there are many ways to design programs and that can cause problems if translating from a finished project. By supplying a source document such as a Word document allows the translator to translate properly and not change important effects such as HTML.

Exhausted businessman
Do you have the source documents?

Supplying a proper source document will do two things. One it will save time in translating the project as we don’t have to waste time adjusting the format. The other big saving is money. Although most translation documents are quoted by the word count, if a lot of formatting is required additional charges may apply. If you have a project coming up that requires translation or other contract work save time and money by having source documents ready if possible. If you would like to see the type of projects we handle on a regular basis then visit our projects page.

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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