Urgence et qualité en traduction @David Goehring

Are urgent translations and quality translations compatible?

Do it quickly and well: the constant challenge for any translator; but can quality always be guaranteed on an urgent translation?

Doing it quickly and well: the constant challenge for any translator. If the deadline isn’t yesterday, it’s tomorrow, at best on Monday if the document is sent on a Friday. However, translators are accustomed to working with very short deadlines. But does this affect the quality of an urgent translation? Our experience shows that the answer is no.

An urgent translation not only requires a team of experienced professional translators, but also experienced project managers, as well as cutting-edge computer resources.

Competent translators

Let us start with the obvious: a good translation is not possible without a good translator. Automatic translation programs are constantly improving, but they cannot replace the human brain, the only guarantee, at the present time of quality work. A good translator is all the more necessary when deadlines are short. It’s here that their perfect knowledge of the language pair, as well as an expertise in the specific area of the document are the most important. A perfect knowledge of the financial sector is essential for an urgent financial translation. Precision, speed, reliability, all of this is only possible if the work is entrusted to a competent professional.

Experienced project managers

For an urgent legal translation, for example, one translator may not be enough – either because the document is too long or the deadline is too short. This is where the project manager comes in. They divide the amount of work and share it between several translators. An experienced project manager ensures their translators` availability and competence, the cohesion of their efforts, the consistency of the result and the respect for commitments made to clients. But, to do this, the human resources must not only be first rate (both in regard to teams of translators that can be mobilized at any time and the project managers themselves), but the computer resources too.

Professional computing resources

Translation support software and automatic translation programs or websites are often confused. These in no way replace the “human” translator. They are used at most to facilitate, optimize, accelerate and standardize the work, especially in the case for an urgent translation. Whether it’s an urgent marketing translation or any other work, translation tools allow:

  • long documents to be shared, so that several translators can work simultaneously;
  • terminological consistency to be ensured either between different parts of the same translation or from one translation to another for the same client;
  • specific glossaries that are suggested by the client to be taken into account;
  • rates to be offered to clients taking into account any repetition;
  • proprietary formats to be managed (PowerPoint, Word, XPress, FrameMaker, PageMaker, etc.) and tagged (HTML, SGML, XML, etc.).

For urgent medical translation or the translation of urgent financial reports or other work with short deadlines, combining speed and quality is therefore possible. However, working in an emergency requires the company to offer high-level skills and resources.

Translation into English: Chloe Findlay

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This article has been written by Mathieu

Mathieu was born in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. After studying Literature and Linguistic Research, he moved to Argentina where he is currently a translator and a web editor.