The Importance of efficient Communication in Translation

Always start with fine people, then lay out the rules and, communicate with employees. If all these things are done effectively, one can’t miss. Day by day, the consequences of communication cannot be ignored. Most of the people agree that it is a lifeline for any relationship. The more important than communication is effective communication.

For a moment, consider three salient points which can be easily applied to translation business. Iacocca says “start with good people” which means that the right vendors should be selected for the business. “Lay out the rules”, then, communicate with employees. This wise guidance is applicable to communicate with vendors and clients.

Certainly, while dealing with vendors and clients, it is vitally important to continue effective communication. Our first focus is on communication with the vendor or client.

As early as contact is established with the client, it is important to open communication lines so to help assess and clear understanding of the needs of the client. While doing so and determine the services requested, the suitable questions should be used. Some potential questions are given as below:

  • What are the objectives of the client?
  • Is there any technical or special knowledge required?
  • Is there any deadline?
  • Is localization considered, or is a universal, general language appropriate?
  • Are there any graphic design or special formatting considerations?
  • Will there be a review by the client?

Clearly, having answers to all these questions and other relevant questions will participate to create an understanding, agreement between translation vendors that will be assumed a translation agency, an effective workflow and a client that is an important factor in the eventual success of the project.

In case of major clients and large projects that are going to be translated into many languages, or small projects into one target language, the effective communication is essential. It is necessary to recognize that at times an agency may receive conflicting information from different contacts that are involved in the project. It would be helpful if the agency identifies one primary contact. The contract must be empowered to speak. There cannot be several voices to deal with. All requests for clarification, doubts, localization and technical issues must be described to that primary contact.

The communication between a client and a PM should be two sided. Both should convey their need and expectations effectively to each other. This may result in success of the task.

Certainly, communication is a serious factor of vendor management.

Vendors must have a short description of the project, the word count and the task that is being performed; some vendors may provide multiple services.

The vendors should be provided by the individual editors, translators, DTP persons, and all the relevant information and instructions in writing, through email.

It is also important to mention the target language, as some vendors work with multiple languages. Nothing must be assumed.

The deadline should be informed to the vendor. Make sure to include the time zone (country specific, central, eastern, etc.), date and as well as hour. This will help in avoiding confusion. This may result in saving valuable time, money and energy.

Concluding, effective communication with vendors and clients is paramount. Even if you are having the very best and most important vendors and clients, shortage of effective communication may cause frustration and confusion.

Maryum is a freelance writer and IT Professional living in Pakistan. Her technical and transcription blogs about software solutions have been published on various websites. With her hands on experience in translation tools like CATMATE, OMEGAt and TRADOS and advisor of technological tools for big transcription and translation projects. Maryum has the capability of delivering high-quality knowledge in just a few words on her articles and blogs.


  1. Avatar Brooke Suzy says:

    Those are great questions that I’m going to use from now on. Communication is essential for success in translation. In my experience the communication could cause even more problems than just frustration and confusion. This is a great article that I’m glad I read. Thanks for the information.

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