By now you've heard us talk extensively about finding the right localization partner. Being able to find that one special provider who is a pleasure to work with AND who can successfully take your content to the global market is quite the achievement, and one that shouldn't be taken for granted!
So let's say you've found that language service provider (LSP) who ticks all the boxes and you want to show your appreciation. Beyond a box of chocolates... beyond a bouquet of flowers... beyond that ring you saved two months of your salary for... the one gift all LSPs will appreciate and love you for is a little help making the localization process smoother. And that's it! We swear! Just one or two adjustments here and there can make life a little easier for your localization vendor and can save money, headaches and time for yourself too.
Here are the top five ways you can show your appreciation to your LSP by helping to make the localization process that much easier.
1. Specify the exact languages required
Spanish used in Spain and Spanish used in Mexico are quite different, and so are the translation rates for them. Also, there is no such language as “Chinese” in the world of translation. There is either Simplified or Traditional script used for writing, and many distinct dialects as well, the most common ones being Mandarin and Cantonese.
If possible, try to let your LSP know exactly what language you need right off the bat (with the specific region and dialect) so that there isn't any confusion going forward. If you are not sure which one you need, feel free to ask! LSPs do not mind helping you with this type of information as it benefits everyone to know in the long run.
2. Provide editable source files
Yes, it is possible to translate text from a scanned JPEG or PDF, but it does mean transcribing it first (the act of writing the whole document out again manually)... And yes, it is possible to replace English text with the Japanese equivalent on an image or graphic file by plastering over the old one... But keep in mind that not only can this end up costing more, but both these options can take far longer to do and can introduce many new errors.
For your benefit as well as your LSP's, do try to share actual source files where the text and other content can be extracted or edited directly. This makes the entire process much easier.
3. Make sure everything is finalized and well communicated
This happens all too often. We receive one set of files, create a quote based on it and then the client adds another file or two, or removes three, or updates five, or changes the languages needed for the first set, or any combination of the above.
Sooner or later, with several different versions of the quote flying around, it's easy to get confused about what the total task amounts to or what it involves. In some pretty bad cases, it can even result in the two sides talking about completely different scopes of work without even realizing it.
When possible, please try to finalize all of the files and the task itself before passing them on for quotation. Now don't get us wrong, if a scope of work needs to be adjusted or last-minute changes need to be introduced, we are more than happy to accommodate them. We only ask that, if possible, the complete list of changes be finalized and well communicated to all involved parties so as to avoid any confusion. We understand the changes a project can undertake, but if even one person on either side is left in the dark then it can end up being potentially disastrous later on.
4. Inform in advance when a new request or project is on its way
When do clients want their translations done? ASAP, most of the time. We understand, we really do, and like every vendor, we will do all we can to deliver as quickly as possible (and without any mistakes of course). But is there something the client can do to make the turnaround time even faster? Yes, there is.
If we know that a translation job is coming, we can line up translators, editors, project managers, and whoever else is needed, so they can get started without any delay the moment we have the signed quote. As soon as you know, let us know. Preparation is the key to success! If we have ample time to get our ducks in a row, then turning that project around ASAP should be no problem at all.
5. Show appreciation when it’s deserved
We all like to be acknowledged when we've done a good job, it's human nature! And for an LSP that handles hundreds of jobs every month, some small, some big, some for old clients and some for new ones, there can be a lot of people involved. We all do the best we can to meet the clients’ expectations in terms of quality, time and price. Sometimes we succeed in a spectacular fashion, sometimes it can be a struggle. But if your LSP manages to send you that last file at 11:30 pm on a Friday night, do try to tell them you appreciate it. It will wash away the fatigue and make everything feel like it was all worth while.
Please? This one is just for us.
The Andovar advantage
If you're thinking of treating one LSP especially nice in your future, why not make it us?
Beyond just writing the odd blog about good practices in localization, we are also a specialized translation and localization provider with years of experience across a range of industries, including media, games and eLearning, among others. We have offices located across Asia, the Americas and Europe, giving round-the-clock assistance for all of your localization needs.
Feel free to get in touch to discuss your next localization project to see how we can help your organization grow. We look forward to hearing from you!