6 tips on translating a book with an LSP

We often receive questions about translating large volumes, and to be honest, the best projects are the big ones. But managing a big translation project isn’t a simple process. That’s why we’ve decided to lift the curtains of how you can do that successfully with an LSP partner and how it would benefit you.

Think of your favorite book, and imagine you’ve been entrusted by the author to manage the successful launch of this book in a few Asian markets: Japan, Vietnam and Korea. You do your research, you find a few companies that offer translation into Asian languages, and you start wondering which one you’re going to choose for the job.

What to consider when choosing an LSP for the purpose of translating a book?

The credibility of the company you choose
Having a straightforward and clearly defined process is always a big advantage. So, you’re looking for them to have ISO certification: 17100/2015 and 9001/2015 in particular are both good options to check when sending a request for a translation. Companies that have invested in certification and building processes are already a step ahead, because they’re aware that it’s important to maintain a consistent process and to be held accountable.

Opt for a single partner rather than a few
If you choose multiple companies with which to translate your book, managing efficient communications with all of them will be an arduous task. The work you have to do will be reduced immensely if you choose just one company that has the capability to translate into all the languages you want. You’ll then spend the time you saved talking to your clients, rather than talking to your vendors.
Local knowledge, Western-style customer service
Choose a company that has their production offices in the East, but has their customer support and sales teams in the West. In my opinion, this is essential due to the fact that the Asian perception of customer service is completely different than the one you find in western countries. It’s all based on the cultural differences and believe me, it can be frustrating to deal with. Issues such as being misinterpreted by customer support may arise at any time, and talking to someone that speaks your language fluently can greatly alleviate that a great deal. Think of how much time you spent learning your client’s language and how it’s helped you close deals more efficiently.

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Time means quality

Translating a BookTime is of the essence for everyone, but when we’re talking about a project as important and costly as translating a book, you should be aware of something: allowing for more time means receiving a better translation. The best way to proceed is to have a single team comprised of a Translator, Editor, and Proofreader work on the entirety of the book. This ensures maximum consistency, but it also has an impact on the time-frame in which the project will be ready.

A second option would be to have multiple translators, but utilize a single editor and have them use an up-to-date glossary, which is another thing worth mentioning.

Provide a glossary and as much other information as possible

Spend time with your client, talk to them about the expectations they have for the translation, the tone of voice that should be used throughout the book, if there are any other books they’ve had translated and approved already. Or if there are any mishaps or bad experiences they’ve had going through that process before. Create a glossary with the appropriate terms and jargon, and make sure to include any and all information pertaining to the translation of names, images or the style of speech that should be used in specific segments.

Ever heard of Desktop Publishing? Do it!

Desktop Publishing is something you’ll definitely need at the very end. Going through this process will mean finalizing your book in a print-ready state while keeping the layout and formatting look as close to the original as possible. The pages will all fit with the target language, the size and fonts will be readable and the text will be exactly where it should be. That is especially key with Asian languages, as their whole structure is completely different than English and most other Western languages.

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In conclusion, it’s important to acknowledge that the quality of the final translation is crucial, and we all know ensuring it’s the biggest and most important part of the entire process. When you work with an LSP, maintaining a high quality standard of quality is a team-effort. The rewarding feeling of delivering a high quality product after spending long, difficult and meticulous hours together with your team makes it all worth it.