Global Connects has extensive, deep-rooted experience in translating information from a wide and diverse range of public sector organisations.  As the lead agency on the Scottish Government Interpreting, Translation and Transcription Services Framework Agreement, we provide high-quality translations for the emergency services, Courts, Crown Office, Parliament and other major national bodies. We take pride in the fact that our work helps these organisations communicate accurately and effectively with their customers and stake-holders. Global Connects provides interpreting and translations in over 90 languages under this contract, as well as accessible options such as Braille, Easy Read, Large Print and Audio.

We’d like to share a few of the important things we have learned along the way.  These can be applied to any public sector or public-facing communication.

Do know your audience. Ensure you use the correct language or language variant for your audience. For example, make sure you know whether it’s Brazilian or European Portuguese, Canadian French or European French, or a specific variant of Arabic that is needed. Think deeply about any sub-groups in your audience: are there any additional requirements, such as Easy Read or Large Print?

Do know your budget. Work out what is affordable before you start the translation process. Always ask our dedicated Project Managers at the outset to work with your team to provide a solution that best meets the needs of the service and the people involved.

Do understand whether a written translation or an interpreter is required. Translation and interpreting are complementary but different, each offering in its own way a unique, highly effective solution that enhances your communications in specific circumstances. Work with our team to ensure you select the right option. For example, conferences, seminars, meetings and training would all benefit more from having an interpreter present, whilst arranging appointments, visits, or providing more complex and detailed information in, say, a technical brochure would better suit a written translation.

Don’t expect a translation to be completed in a matter of minutes. Our professional and experienced translators need time to assimilate all the source documentation. They will always conduct any necessary background research into specific technical terms or services to gain a comprehensive understanding of the audience with whom you wish to communicate.

Don’t send an unfinished text to be translated. Make sure your document is complete and ready to be translated. Adding new copy or making last minute changes during translation can alter the flow of a translator’s work, leading to confusion, mistakes and, of course, costing you more money unnecessarily.

Don’t use inexperienced translators or interpreters. An inexperienced, unqualified translator can harm your company brand and message you are trying to communicate. The translation should be good representation of your company, so you don’t want a text that is full of mistranslations or mistakes. An inexperienced, unqualified interpreter can make a meeting that should take one hour last for three, with no-one present actually understanding what’s going on. Always use a professional translator or interpreter who is fully qualified and has all the necessary background checks and disclosures completed.

Reaching audiences whose first language is not English and getting your message across in their own language, in such a way that it can have no other meaning than the one you intend it to have, is a real skill that takes years of experience.   Get in touch with the Global Connects team today to learn how we can help you do just that.

Fiona Woodford, Global Connects