Consolidate Your Files

If your translation project consists of multiple small documents, it may make sense to you to send these small pieces as they are to your translator, but bear in mind that it will take longer and incur a project management fee.

As we all know, switching between tasks increases the time it takes to complete them all. Consequently, 5,000 words scattered over many small files will take proportionally longer than one long document with the same word count. Additionally, if there are any repetitions in your documents and we want to ensure consistency, it is a lot easier for the translator to do a search in the current file than switching back to the folder(s) of micro files to try and locate that sentence and check how we translated it before. (And yes, this is what CAT tools are for, but by the time you’ve uploaded a 40-word file, you might as well have translated it directly in Word.)

It is usually simple enough to copy all your texts into one Word document, with the file names at the beginning of each block of text so you know what is what. It also spares you the tedious task of sending dozens of files in one or several emails and receiving the same again later (and who wants more emails in their inbox?). By grouping your documents, both you and your translator only have one or just a few file(s) to work on, thus avoiding the risk of omissions, duplicates and superfluous files that didn’t need to be translated after all (as recently happened with a client of mine – and that mistake was added to the invoice, I’m afraid).

If the reason for those various separate files is formatting because they have been finalised for publication/circulation before translation, remember that 1) translators can only really work on editable files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); and 2) English texts tend to be shorter than their equivalent in most other languages, which means that the layout needs to be adjusted for each version. So it’s best to leave the formatting until last anyway.

Of course, if you’d rather leave the project management side of things to your translator, we can do it for you and charge you for the extra work and time. But if your budget is a little tight, you may prefer to consolidate your many small documents into fewer large ones. And by saving us time, you also help us to deliver the translation earlier to you.

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