Translators often use several forms of reference materials, whether digital or physical. Not all companies have their entire content (such as manuals, press releases, internal communications, guidelines, and glossaries, among others) in a digital format. However, these references are important for the translator.
Why? The translator/translation agency rely on these documents to ensure consistency and to verify the sources of a translation choice. Interpreters and audiovisual translators might also benefit from reference materials, which can be topics for a lecture or meeting, or even the complete script and glossary for a video.
Translators should have access to these documents, even if they are classified as “confidential.” To prevent leaks of confidential information, the client and the translation agency may require a non-disclosure agreement, subsequently providing these materials. These documents often contain important information for the translation; they also allow the translator/interpreter to have a good grasp on what is described or will be spoken.
Research is not always fruitful; the internal materials of a company are a key trustworthy source a translator can use to research and produce a quality translation. When preparing for a translation project, the translator or the translation agency may request access to the client’s documents, digital platforms, or even previous translations, to ensure consistency. If the client has glossaries or previously translated product lists, these should be sent to the translator, who will then be able to work in a quicker and more accurate way.
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