A professional translator can offer more than quality translations, and you should take advantage of the full range of their skills. The possibilities are endless, but let’s start with what I consider to be the basic ones :
- Editing – No one will look at your text more closely than your translator: syntax, spelling, grammar, redundancies, inconsistencies, awkward structures, omissions, incomplete citations, broken links… Don’t be offended when a translator sends you a few suggested revisions to the original or notices weak points in the text. It is a sign that he or she takes their job seriously.
- Research – It makes no sense to simply translate into French a brochure or web page that refers the reader to resources available only in English. Your translator should be able to either find the French version of the resource provided, if it exists, or suggest an equivalent.
- Translation memory and terminology management – Provided they are equipped with adequate tools themselves, professional translators can help you increase accuracy, consistency and efficiency of your translation process. Don’t hesitate to ask if they are able to help you draft a Style Guide, standardize your terminology or manage a translation memory for you.
- Advice – It is always a good idea to involve your translator in the early stages of any project. Given a rough scope, he or she can tell you how long it will take to produce a proper translation, flag potential issues and help you adjust along the way. It will save everyone time, and it will almost certainly save you money.
Whatever you may need, it never hurts to ask, I’m willing to bet you will be pleasantly surprised.