5 Steps to Managing Spanish Translation

July 22, 2017 | Author: viaLanguage | Category: Translations, Dialect, Memory, Grammar, Spanish Language
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Descripción: This brief outines key tips for managing Spanish translations across different dialects and regional differ...



Five Steps to Managing Spanish Language Translation: Bridging Many Dialects to Say What You Mean It is easy to distinguish between the Spanish and German languages. Though both are Indo-European in origin, each obviously boasts its own vocabulary, unique pronunciation demands and discrete set of grammatical rules. But how about discerning the difference between Mexican Spanish and the version favored in Spain or Colombia? Spoken in some 23 countries by more than 450 million people throughout the world, Spanish is comprised of a variety of dialects and regional differences in such things as grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and more. If you have visited Madrid and Mexico City you know this firsthand. The idioms, slang, pronunciation and even grammar in one differ noticeably from those in the other. While interesting on a linguistic level, these variations can pose significant challenges in a medical translation context. To complicate matters further, there is also the issue of inconsistent literacy levels. Misjudge this important facet of translation and your audience is likely to struggle with an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of your materials. Keep in mind that to facilitate the greatest comprehension of education, public health and social services materials among limited English proficient (LEP) audiences it is recommended to communicate at a fourth- or sixth-grade level. Failure to successfully manage the issues of literacy level and Spanish language variety can have farreaching consequences for your organization and your customer.

Meeting the needs of Spanish speakers So say you’ve just been tasked with translating your healthcare organization’s brochure about flu shots into Spanish. Familiar with the local demographics, you know that your area includes families from Cuba, Mexico and Honduras, and likely others. Each speaks a slightly different Spanish. How do you proceed? 1. Go neutral Today, thanks in part to widely available media like Univision, major Spanish newspapers and the Internet, these disparate varieties of Spanish are familiar and increasingly comprehensible to Spanish speakers of different backgrounds. Meanwhile, a “Neutral Spanish” has developed to bridge the gap. Sometimes known as Latin American Spanish, it tends to disregard local grammatical and vocabulary differences in order to standardize the language. This makes it a perfect translation solution as it is likely to be easily understood by all Spanish speakers with whom you are communicating. The downside of neutral is that it might not resonate as well with a particular community or region. If this is critical to your campaign, then you may need to budget for more than one version or origin of influence. 2. Create a style guide Developing a reference manual can be a useful tool for helping ensure consistent translation results every time. Think of it as a sort of dictionary of healthcare terms and concepts and how they should be correctly translated and presented. Include translations of employees’ titles or job descriptions as well and you help patients understand the roles of staff. Dictating how certain documents like healthcare insurance applications or highly designed healthcare education manuals are presented also means that the specs for the documents are clear and available to all parties involved in their production. This smoothes the development process, minimizes errors, and saves you time and expense.

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3. Include a glossary for consistency Creating a glossary in which to record the desired translations of disease names, their symptoms, medical product names and procedures, as well as pertinent health plan and healthcare terms is sure to be welcome to LEP patients. By guaranteeing that translations are consistent across documents, you avoid confusion and present a unified image to patients and their families. Each term in the glossary should be accompanied by its definition in English and notes about how the term is used in different types of documents. Beside each term, written in the source language (e.g., English), should be the same term in the second language (e.g., Spanish). 4. Save time and money with translation memory Most healthcare organizations rely on a range of terms and documents, such as order forms and technical instructions that do not change much over time. Translations of these documents can be stored in a database system called a “translation memory” for future use. This resource gives the translator the option of choosing a stored translation when working on an identical or similar document. The translator uses the context of the project and past experience to determine if the translation requires modification. Large documents that go through new editions on a regular basis are especially good candidates for translation memory. The benefits of such a tool can be dramatic. Though some documents may occasionally require new information, corrections or changes, storing them in this way provides a powerful opportunity to build efficiencies into your translation initiatives. Not only does a translation memory help promote, along with style guides and glossaries, a valuable consistency across documents, it can also save you up to 25 percent on future translation costs. 5. Don’t forget the review Finally, it is essential to present your style guide, glossary and term list to your in-house or community reviewers and translation teams at least a week in advance of the launch of a project. They require sufficient time to ask questions, get clarifications and make changes to help ensure accuracy, consistency and the nuance of your community. Review by program managers or qualified members of the target audience can be another critical step in achieving the desired quality for your translated materials. It is best performed by one of your staff or a trusted associate. Selection of the reviewer is important and tends to be most successful when based on the following criteria: Skill Set — The reviewer should be a native speaker of the target language, preferably reside in the target country, and be familiar with the product, terminology and end user. Role — The reviewer should understand his/her function in the translation process and its limitations to judging technical accuracy of the terminology, unless specifically asked to do more. Schedule — The reviewer should be able to commit to developing a glossary or writing style guide in advance, as well as scheduling adequate time for review. Clarifying the reviewer’s role and schedule contributes to a more efficient translation process and helps ensure a timely completion of the project.

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Getting it right — every time When translating a language as multifarious as Spanish it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is receiving the same message. Following the steps above will allow you to streamline the process, while minimizing or eliminating many of the potential hazards along the way. The reward is accurate, timely translations that truly say what you mean.

Choose a Translation Partner Wisely Of course, translation budgeting is only part of creating and managing an effective language access program. Selecting the right vendor is also key. As a full-service language service provider, viaLanguage has the right team, the right tools, and all the resources necessary to process your translation and localization jobs efficiently and cost-effectively in more than 50 languages—regardless of your project’s size or complexity. viaLanguage’s combination of expertise across the content spectrum, proven methodology, superior technology tools as well as a range of value-added services result in 99% on-time delivery with quality assurance checkpoints all along the way.

Take the Next Step To learn more about how viaLanguage can help you cost-effectively reach your multicultural communities, call us at 1-800-737-8481 or create your free account at www.viaLanguage.com.

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