How to Translate a Document?

Pollion Team

Does your business need to translate a document into another language? Is the company seeking to reach a new market in another country? If so, finding a translation service that can help with all aspects of the translation process is necessary. 

Why Do You Need Document Translation Services to Grow Globally? 

As a business deals with how to translate a document, there are many benefits to consider. For example, business documents may include business operations, legal documents, financial statements, marketing materials, etc. 

Having these documents translated means a company can expand its global reach, enter new markets, and develop effective communication with international partners, clients, and investors. 

What is a Document Translation Service? 

Document Translation Service

A document translation service is a professional service provided by language professionals who are fluent and knowledgeable in several languages. These translation professionals know how to translate a document correctly and effectively. 

The correct translation service can be an essential partner in a business accessing a global audience. The knowledge of how to translate a document enables a company to expand to new markets and reach its target audience in other countries. 

Related Post: Why Fast Translation Services Are Not Luxury Today?

How to Translate a Document: Follow These Tips for Successful Translations

1. Determine the Target Language and Purpose

If your business is reaching a new target audience in another country, it’s essential to reach this market through their local language. However, preparing the marketing material is only the first step in the translation process. 

When searching for “How to translate a document,” the following steps are necessary before the material is ready to send to a translating service. 

  • Identify the language: the first step is to identify the language the document must be translated into. 
  • Consider the purpose and audience: the next step is to consider the purpose of the material and audience of the translated document. Does the material fulfill its purpose? If not, some rewriting may be necessary before the document is ready for translation. 

2. Choose the Right Translation Method

Once your company has chosen the right translation service, such as Pollion, a suitable translation method must be determined. There are free services available, but they may not be a good fit for your business documents. 

Machine Translation

Machine translation is one method translators and translation services, use to convert text into other languages. The process uses artificial intelligence to translate a document into another language automatically. 

The software used for machine translation can be rule-based, use statistical models, or use the neural model (AI) to learn languages and improve its language abilities, much like the human brain does. 

Two examples of online, free machine translation services include Google Translate, Bing, and more. While these services are suitable for getting a free, fast translation completed, they are not highly recommended for business documents. 

Google Translate and other free online translation services have their pros and cons. They offer fast translation of documents. A document can be translated within a matter of moments. In addition, these services are often free and convenient to use. However, these translation tools have their limitations. 

For example, Google Translate and other online translation services are not the best options for confidential documents. Unfortunately, many business documents fall into this category. In addition, these free services do not offer accurate translations or understand the context and cultural awareness necessary for the text. Moreover, free online translation services do not provide proofreading or editing of the translated text. 

Human Translation Services

On the other hand, human translation services offer many benefits and can be a better choice than machine translation. When you choose a service, such as Pollion, you can expect these advantages: 

The translated text will be more accurate: 

  • The human brain is capable of interpreting context and meaning; they don’t only translate the words.
  • The work done by human translators is reviewed by other humans who conduct a quality assessment of the translation.
  • Professional translators understand how to use idioms properly and when it’s best to translate phrases from one language to another (or not).
  • Human translators understand when it’s possible to translate content literally and when that’s not possible. They find the best way to use alternative text that’s appropriate for the target audience.

However, a question may arise about whether it’s best to choose a professional translator or use a translation agency, such as Pollion

Hybrid Approach

But how to translate a document another way? Your business may want to consider the hybrid approach. This method is a combination of machine translation with human editing. The hybrid approach can result in a cost-effective, more accurate translation overall.

3. Prepare the Document for Translation

Most businesses don’t realize that their documents must be prepared before they’re ready to be translated. Here are the basic steps for your company to take to ensure your documents are ready for translation. 

Determine the target language: the first step is to determine the target language and region of the target market. For example, consider that the document is in English and must be translated into Spanish. There are many countries where Spanish is spoken, but each has its own dialect. So, choosing the correct region and country is imperative for the translation to be correct for the target audience. 

Finalize the document: once the document is finished, check it for clarity & accuracy. Ensuring the document has been thoroughly proofread and edited before the translation process is a good idea. During the finalization process, the proofreader(s) and editor(s) should also check it for linguistic or cultural errors. 

Make the document easy to understand: part of the preparation process also involves removing or simplifying jargon, idioms, or complex language. These issues can make the translator’s job more challenging and extend the translation process. 

Create a glossary: providing a glossary is an approach that allows your business to establish and explain specific terminology (especially for more complex topics, such as medical and technical content). In addition, the glossary contains words that make the translator’s job that much easier and faster.  

4. Select a Suitable Translator or Translation Service

Regarding “how to translate a document,” the next step is selecting a suitable translator or translation service. We highly recommend creating a list of at least 3-5 translator/translation companies that may be right for the job. Here are the steps to find the right translator for your business document(s). 

  • Define the requirements: ensure that your requirements are as specific as possible, including the target audience, the content’s structure, and the language pair. These will help you find the right translator or translation service for the work. 
  • Translator/company’s reputation: the next step is to consider the translator or company’s reputation. Ask each company/translator on your list these questions: 
  • How long have you/has your agency been in business? 
  • Do you have a dedicated customer support team? 
  • What is the process for managing projects (do they have one project manager for each project? 

Also, ask the translator/translation service if they can offer a referral list of past clients. Be sure to contact these past clients and see if they were happy with their translation services. You can also check online reviews for the same information. 

Finally, ensure that they specialize in your target language and the subject matter of your document. 

5. Establish Clear Communication and Expectations

Clear communication and setting expectations are essential steps in the translation process. The document’s author and translator must establish clear communication and expectations. 

What needs to be discussed? All parts of the project must be addressed, including: 

  • Headlines
  • Formatting
  • Is any specific formatting required for the document

The company (the author) should also provide reference materials and/or glossaries for the translator. The reference materials or glossary list includes standardized terminology that appears within the document and needs to be translated. These consist of definitions and explanations that help the translator ensure language consistency and accuracy. 

6. Review and Revise the Translated Document

Once the translation has been completed, what’s next in “How to translate a document?” The first step involves checking the translation for accuracy, consistency, and fluency. Next, the review and revision process compares the translated text with the source document. The goal is to ensure the message and tone have been communicated correctly and effectively in the target language. The translated text should also be fluent in the target language. 

If necessary, the next step is to request revisions of the translation. Finally, modifications are made to ensure the text is correct in the target language. 

For this process, the translator may do the revisions, or the translation company has a reviewer on staff for this work. However, it’s also possible for your company to hire an independent proofreader or editor to ensure the translated document’s quality and accuracy. For this work, it’s best to hire a native speaker familiar with the document’s subject matter. 

7. Finalize and Implement the Translated Document

Once the review and revisions are complete, it’s time to finalize and implement the translated document. Finalization and implementation are the final steps in “how to translate a document.” 

Now is the time to integrate the translation into your project or platform. Once the document is in use, it’s essential to monitor feedback from the target audience to assess the effectiveness of the translation. 

8. Maintain a Long-term Relationship with the Translator or Translation Service

Some businesses require regular translation of their documents. In that case, it’s best to establish a long-term relationship with the translator or the translation service. Then, they will be ready to handle future translation projects. 

The key to maintaining a long-term relationship with your translator or translation service is to provide them with feedback and make recommendations to improve the translation process. The goal is to establish excellent communication with your translator or translation service. 


“How to translate a document?” can be a short, easy process or one that’s more complex and takes more time. It all depends on the language pair’s complexity, the document’s length, and if the subject matter is more challenging or easy. 

The main goal of having your business documents translated is finding the right translator or translation service. They should be able to handle your language pair and subject matter and have the expertise and knowledge to translate your document into the target language correctly. 

Many tools are available for translating documents today; however, one of the best is the hybrid approach, which combines machine learning and human translation. The results are more accurate, and the translation rates are usually more cost-effective. 

If your company regularly requires translation services, it’s best to establish a long-term relationship with your translator or translation service. The key is to develop excellent communication in the beginning and maintain it throughout the relationship term. 

Once your document has been successfully and accurately translated, it can be inserted into your project and sent to the target audience. It’s always best to monitor all feedback from the target audience to ensure the effectiveness of the translation. 

With the right translation services, your business won’t be limited to one location. Instead, your company can expand into new global markets in almost any country if you have an effective translator or translation service.  

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