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How to Write an English to Vietnamese Translation Guideline for Translators?

Posted by Anne Q. on November 22, 2021.

An English to Vietnamese translation project’s success is determined not only by the in-charge translators or translation agencies but also by your own team. During the translation process, translators might make mistakes in terms of typos, incorrect word choices, and so on. However, it is possible for things to go wrong before the translators even begin their work.

Many businesses overlook the significance of a translator’s guideline in the success of a Vietnamese translation project. Some prepare foggy instruction, while others prepare nothing at all. A guideline is similar to a compass in that it directs translators’ efforts in the right direction. If you want high-quality Vietnamese translations without wasting too much time, this is a must-have step that needs to be performed before the project starts.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about the importance of having a clear English to Vietnamese translation guideline and how to create one for your linguists.

What is an English to Vietnamese Translation Guideline?

A translation guideline for your English to Vietnamese translation project tells your translators what you require and expect from their translations. It also includes references (style guide and terminology) to help translators go on the right track, saving time and money for your project.

A Translation Guide Saves Time for Both Vietnamese Translators and Your Company

It’s always beneficial for both parties to fully comprehend the other’s expectations and capabilities. Having a Vietnamese translation guide will help you achieve this mutual understanding. Translators will have a clear vision of what outcome they need to achieve and what they should do to meet that expectation based on the clear instructions you sent.

English to Vietnamese translation guideline benefits 1

A guideline is typically comprised of translations for a list of terminologies that you want the translators to use throughout the translations to ensure accuracy and consistency. If you let translators choose the translations themselves, there is a high chance that your company find these translated terms inappropriate to use on the documents and request that the translators change the words. This process of sending files back and forth to correct these words takes quite some time. Instead, provide your Vietnamese translators with a list of terminologies. Translators will use the resources you provide, saving both their and your company time.

A Translation Guideline Increases the Translation Quality

As previously stated, a list of terminologies or style guides assists translators in maintaining consistency of word choices, writing tones, and voices throughout translations, thereby improving the overall quality of the documents.


How to Create an English to Vietnamese Translation Guideline?

A quality English to Vietnamese translation guideline should include the following information:

#1. Your Anticipated Outcome

The first thing you should include in the guideline is your expectations for your Vietnamese translation project. Do you require an error-free, ready-to-publish document, or do you simply require a quick translation to grasp the gist of the document? You should state your expected outcome at the beginning of the guideline to avoid translators missing this important information.

#2. English to Vietnamese Style Guide

An English to Vietnamese translation style guide is a set of rules created by your company for translators to follow when working on your Vietnamese translation project. A style guide usually contains rules for writing style, punctuation, spelling, brand voice, translation tone, other textual and visual elements.

A style guide for translating English content into Vietnamese should mention your preferred use for:

    • Punctuation and Spelling. For example, do you want to use standard Vietnamese spelling or regional spellings?
    • Formats for Dates and Times. While in English, the most popular-used date format is mm/dd/yyyy, in Vietnamese, dd/mm/yyyy is used. In terms of time, you can use either 12-clock or 24-clock time format. 24-hour notation is commonly used for legal documents, transportation timetables, and television schedules, whereas 12-hour notation is heard on daily conversation.
    • Numbers, Percentages, and Currency. Vietnamese people use metric measurement.
    • Abbreviations and Acronyms.
    • Layouts.
    • Writing Styles and Tones.Tone of Voices

#3. English to Vietnamese Terminology, Glossary and Do-not-translate List

It is critical to keep your company’s translations consistent and accurate throughout the project. This can be achieved by having a list of frequently used terms and their translations in Vietnamese. In some cases, your Vietnamese translators may suggest term translations to your company. Once the glossary is approved by your company, it will be used throughout your Vietnamese translation project.

What’s more, we recommend you include a list of words that should not be translated. Do-not-translate words might be product names, people’s names, technology, addresses, and websites.

#4. English to Vietnamese Translation References

Because the English to Vietnamese translated documents you publish show the voice of your brand, maintaining a consistent tone and writing style is essential. You should give translators some examples of your previously translated documents from English to Vietnamese to help them understand which languages to use to fit your company’s voice.

#5. Other Important Notes

Tell your translators which technologies you want to use on your English to Vietnamese translation projects. Nowadays, most freelance translators and translation agencies use CAT Tools to reduce turn-around time and improve overall translation quality.

Which CAT tools do you prefer translators use if you want to use them for your project? Trados, MemoQ, Memsource, or a different name? Mentioning the desired tool will allow you to manage and check translations more effectively. It is also preferable that all of your translation management technologies (CMS, API, CAT environment, etc.) are linked together to ensure a smooth workflow and reduce the time spent transferring individual files between you and your translation partners.

CAT Tools

When writing the translation instruction for your English to Vietnamese translation projects, it is critical to include information such as the file types and layouts of the final files. Answering the following questions will help you determine what to include in the style guide: Do you want your documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF? Do you have any specific requirements for font, word size, indent, spacing, and so on?


Wrap Up

We hope this post has helped you understand the concept and importance of a translation guideline for your English to Vietnamese translation projects. The next step is to start building a translation style guide and glossary. You can check out our step-by-step guide to create your own translation style guide and translation glossary.

If you are looking for a professional translation agency to assist your English to Vietnamese translation projects, look no further than GTE Localize. With years of experience in the Vietnamese market, we know where to find the most suitable Vietnamese translators for your projects, at the most affordable rates.

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