French document translation refers to the translation of printed materials such as user guides, medical inserts, financial information and more. This process may include French desktop publishing, which involves maintaining the formatting specifications of the source documents.
Different industries generate different types of documentation, and each presents unique challenges when translating. For example, software translation often involves translation of associated collateral, including user guides, packaging and marketing materials. The medical industry, on the other hand, requires multilingual inserts and labeling which must be meticulously translated and formatted to ensure accuracy and compliance with international regulations.
The first step in French document translation is to review the source documentation for the number of words, subject matter and formatting requirements. The source document should then be imported into a translation memory tool such as Trados, which the human translation team will use in order to manage terminology, facilitate consistent translation across all documents, and leverage cost savings by utilizing the translation memory on 100% matches and repeat text. After translation, if formatting is required, the French text is imported into a desktop publishing application in order to be formatted to match the original source document.
The company you choose for French document translation will require various files and information before proceeding with your project. You should provide all source desktop publishing files (for example, qxd, .tif, .doc, and .fm), fonts, and graphics used in the documentation. You should also indicate any graphics or text which are not to be translated (for example, logos).
Whether your project is simple (such as a short, single-language fact sheet) or complex (such as a frequently updated, multilingual user guide), your translation company should have solid experience and a comprehensive process which includes at a minimum:
- Source file review, analysis and preparation
- Project kick-off meeting
- Format, edit and proofread all text
- Format, edit and proofread all graphics
- Client review and approval
- Final QA
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