6 steps to an effective translation
- Take time to consider which languages to select for translations.
Consider which community group will most benefit from your resource, and which communities have a low rate of English proficiency.
To find out information on new arrivals in the last five years, visit: Australian Government: Settlement Reporting
- Think about the best format and dissemination method for your translations.
This could be a printed flyer, an audio file or a video. The best format and dissemination will vary with each community or language group. Consider dissemination and format methods in your community consultation and factor this in.
- Develop a budget, time and process for your translations.
Undertaking translation is a process and should be considered a project with a budget and timelines. Discuss your needs with the translation agency first and plan your timeline by working backwards from the time it takes for a translation to be completed.
- Check your resource you want to translate is written in ‘plain English’’.
If you use any special terminology, explain it in the text. Avoid figures of speech and metaphors. Use the active voice not passive voice.
- Find a – translator
You can find translators on the NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) and the AUSIT (Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators) websites. If you don’t find one…especially for newly-arrived communities may be harder to find a NAATI (refer to HTD website)
Using a translations agency can be useful. They can work directly with the translators, help you input the translated language into a design (known as ‘typesetting’) as well as assist with the community checking.
- Test your translated resource with the community
To ensure that your translation is accurate and clear, ask a sample of the target audience to check it. This can be done through a community focus group or on an individual basis.
If you need assistance with your translation, please contact us.
If you are using existing translated materials, you need to first check whether the content and meaning of the resource is what you are after.
A summary of tips to help you test your translation with the community . This will help your resource be more culturally appropriate, accurate and relevant to your target audience.
Using existing translated materials may save you time and money, however to use them successfully it is essential that you review and focus test the materials to make sure they are going to have the effect you are hoping for.
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