To ensure good translation quality, you'll need to provide your translators as much guidance and context as possible. Remember that translators are, in essence, your extended team, and they have a critical mission of translating your product and all collaterals into the target language. Think about how much time your team spends crafting the English copy. Your translators are expected to accomplish the same mission of preparing the message in a different language without this considerable pool of background info you and your team have.
Read further to learn more about all the available options for sharing context with Transifex.
If you’re just starting localizing or onboarding a new vendor/translation team, consider how little translators know about your product. They will do some initial research on the product and company, but it is still incomparable to how much information you possess.
We recommend meeting (online or onsite) with your translators, talking to them about your company, your product, and your user base, and showing the functionality. The idea is to give them as much understanding of what they will translate and for whom.
If a meeting is not possible, recording a demo of your product and distributing it among the translators would be helpful.
It’s even better when the essential information is documented and always available to linguists.
Some thoughts on what a style guide should include:
Background information on your company, product, and target market.
Information about your brand’s personality, tone, and voice.
Guidelines for grammar, written syntax (e.g., how dates should be localized), and stylistic preferences.
Language/culture-specific information or instructions.
In Transifex, you can upload a style guide to be visible to linguists at all times - read how to upload a style guide here.
A glossary, or a term database, is a set of key terms that should be translated in a specific way across all projects. It can include industry-specific terms and DNTs (do-not-translate terms, e.g., you want your brand name to stay in English). It is beneficial to have a glossary to ensure consistency and compliance with the language you prefer.
You can work with your vendor and in-house native speakers/partners to make sure you have the most complete and accurate glossary that translators can further rely on. You can then upload the glossary to Transifex so that it is always available to linguists. Read more about how to format and upload a glossary in Transifex.
In Transifex, you can have different glossaries for different projects - although, as with TMs, it is recommended to have one shared glossary across all projects. You can learn how to share the glossary here.
Developer Notes & Instructions
After providing the necessary high-level information about your company and product (i.e., style guide and glossary), the next step is to provide information on a resource file and even string level.
We recommend that you encourage your developers to include developer notes. In Transifex, developer notes are automatically shown to linguists. You can learn more about developer notes here.
As an alternative, you can also add String instructions. It is especially useful for short strings (e.g. [example]) and strings with placeholders (e.g. [example]).
Depending on what you are translating, you may need to keep a translation within a specific character limit so as not to break the user interface, for instance, in menus, buttons, and mobile apps where space is constrained.
In Transifex, you can set up character limits to help translators meet this requirement - learn more here.
For better context, we highly recommend that you provide visual context, i.e., screenshots of your app - so that translators know precisely where a specific string appears in the UI. You can learn how to upload the screenshots here and map strings to the screenshots here.
Context for Webapp
For your web app, you can provide some visual context using the Context for files feature. With Context for Files, you can easily link your localization project with one or more web domains. In just a couple of clicks, your translation strings will appear highlighted within your content, ready for your team to translate — within the visual context of your website and resource files.
YouTube video integration
If you’re translating subtitles in Transifex, you can help translators see the video and, even better, where the strings appear by linking the video to the .srt file. Learn how to link the video here.
You can provide any kind of additional notes and comments in the “Comments” tab. For example, if your in-house native speaker has some feedback on the specific strings, they can leave their questions or recommendations to the translation team. Learn more about the "Comments" feature here.
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