You will often hear that the usual metric is around 2,000 words translated per day by a professional translator. However, this should only be seen as a rough indicator for a project, as this can vary greatly (and thus increase or decrease), depending on three main points: type of content, quality of potential legacy translations, and contextual information.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” once quoted the late Nelson Mandela, a South African political revolutionary who eventually became president of South Africa. The world is becoming increasingly educated – K-12 enrollment (male and female) on a global scale was 89.84% in 2016, compared to 77.93% in 2000, according to UNESCO. K-12 educational materials are becoming digitized, allowing them to be distributed more easily and cost effectively. Translation of K-12 educational materials is also on the rise – high quality K-12 educational materials developed in one language can greatly enhance educational quality around the world if made available in other languages.
When you have been in your specific industry for any amount of time, acronyms and abbreviations begin to creep up in your everyday speech. This is because you know what they are meant to represent in your industry and in your own organization, and that your colleagues will understand what you say. Acronyms and abbreviations exist in all areas of life from Medicine to Religion.
But why do we tend to use acronyms and abbreviations so often?
One of the greatest challenges for technical writers is avoiding idioms and slang that you are accustomed to using on a regular basis. When writing content for translation into other languages, those common phrases and sayings end up making a unique challenge for translators, taking longer to research and translate and costing you more.
As a technical writer, you probably have extensive knowledge of your product specs and design details, but you probably also know that that knowledge is worthless if you can’t communicate it properly.
“From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere” – Dr. Seuss (an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, publisher, and artist, best known for his children’s books).
The typical work day of an English to French translator is marked with many linguistic dilemmas. One of those quandaries is whether to translate specialized terms with newly created French equivalents – officially normalized neologisms, if you will – or to leave them in English in the middle of a localized sentence in order to obtain the best translation quality.
Translation costs can be reduced by planning ahead early in the writing process and by keeping translation in mind during authoring and editing phases.
Writing for a global audience is a distinct challenge that can vex even the best in the field. Doing it successfully requires different skills than normal writing. Seemingly innocuous sentences can pose major challenges for international readers, so if a writer needs to make sure that their words can be understood by many diverse groups of people, he or she cannot simply write as they normally would.
Translating is a job in itself. While some people may be able to more or less render a source text into their mother tongue, someone who is not a professional translator will likely produce something that is not necessarily fluent, or which is too literal. They may also not take the audience, the end user of that product or service for which the translation is intended into account, leading to sentences that won’t fit and won't be understood culturally speaking. This applies to any language and of course to French.