Businesses that have operations in more than one country have to ensure the important business documents they use for communication should be understandable to all their employees and clients. If the locations are in countries where there are different local languages (for example USA and China, where the native languages are English and Chinese), the business documents have to be translated into the local languages to ensure effective communication. Most of the times, the companies draft the business documents in English and then worry about the translation part.
However, there are two ways in which you can go about translating the business documents into the local language. Either the documents can be drafted in English and then submitted to a translation company, or the translation process can be integrated into the development process of the business documents.
Business documents have to be developed in such a way that they can be officially sent out to all the branch offices. They should not have any errors and should communicate the same message, irrespective of the language they are in. If you translate business documents later, you might run the risk of altering the meaning of the message that the document conveys. Also, the biggest factor to be considered is the time. Translation will take a certain amount of time, valuable time that you may not have at your disposal. Keeping all these factors in mind, we can conclude that it is a good option to include document translation as a part of the development process.
To find the solution to this problem, you must actually analyze the process that your organization employs to develop business documents. By and large, most companies develop the documents during the course of the business meeting and finalize them after the meeting, or hand over the information to the documentation team after the business meeting is over for drafting.
If you choose the first method, it is always better to have someone who is fluent in English and the native language in which your company’s branch is located as a part of the meeting. If you use the second method of documentation, you can have the translation team and the original documentation team working in parallel to ensure that the documents in English and the other languages to be translated into are ready at the same time. Whichever way you choose, you save valuable time by integrating translation services into your business documents development process.
It is important that you work in a way such that the translation team will also find their job easier. After all, a company is all about team work and mutual support. If you follow some of the tips given below while developing business documents, you will make the job of the translation team easier.
Business and culture may not have much in common, but there could be certain situations where cultural references are used. Such references may not be relevant in another culture, and make no sense when translated into another language. To avoid that confusion, it is best to avoid cultural references altogether.
Idioms in English are very difficult to be translated into another language. So, it is always better that you avoid the usage of idioms in business documents. Use a simple tone with direct words rather than referenced idioms.
Never change the style of the document between paragraphs as translators will find it difficult to achieve consistency in the translated document. A simple tip to avoid this is to allow one person to draft the entire document while the other feed him/her ideas.