Preparing Source Content for Translation into Dari and Pashto
Prepareing Source Content for Translation into Dari and Pashto
It is true that one size doesn’t fit all and the same can be said for preparing your content for translation. Most people assume that they can prepare their content the way that best suits their mood and style at the time of writing without considering implications from globalizing the content, that is to say making it ready and available for people to read and process outside your local area.
Every language and culture in the world has unique attributes and characteristics. In this post we will discuss how to best prepare content for translation into Dari and Pashto. These languages along with a handful other regional languages form our core language offerings in the company and what you will read here comes from our hands-on experience over the past decade.
It is important that your original documentation is written so that it can be easily translated into Dari, Pashto or any other language with little pain. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
1. Use a Style Guide for Translation into Dari and Pashto Languages
If possible, employ a standard writing style across your documentation as this will help develop coherence and fluidity in your language. Do not break sentences in the middle as that would send incomplete segments for translation, making it very difficult to use translation tools and join such sentences together.
2. Placeholders and Variables
Understand that numbers, dates, names and other variables are subject to change (variables) and treat them as such. Demanding American format of the date in Dari translation of technical manuals may not work because Afghanistan follows the Solar Hijri calendar. It is important however, to agree on the use of a calendar converter to ensure the dates are converted accurately.
3. Provide Source Files to Your Translation Partner
An obvious, but very common mistake, is to have your product manuals only available in PDF or printed format. This may have worked great in your current setting, but translating from a non-editable version to Dari or Pashto languages is like writing the manual from scratch in those languages. Latest digital copies of your documentation must be available as that will increase the speed of the translation. There are tools available that will extract every sentence, submit it for translation and then keep a copy of translated pair (both original and translated) of sentence in a database for future use.
4. Change Management is Costly
Before translation, have a quick read of your manual and if it needs to be updated do so before starting the translation. Translation of technical manuals can become costly and complex if changes to source documentation are introduced after the project has been kicked off.
5. Share Previously Translated Content
This is very important as it will not only give your translation partner an idea of the voice, tone, signature and formality of your message but also allows them to develop the translation memory or database we discussed above. Keep in mind that this will only improve the quality of your translated content if you have been happy with the translation of your previously translated text. For example, if you translated a document into Pashto last year and have a similar document for translation this year, you will maintain consistency in the translated language if you provide your last year’s translated document to your translation partner. Your translation partner may choose to provide this service for free or at a nominal cost.
At Afghan Translation Service, we make it our priority to help you develop source content that can easily be translated and adapted for audience in Afghanistan. We have helped numerous organizations with their requirements for translation into Dari and Pashto languages. If you require our help please contact us, or feel free to share your thoughts about this post by leaving us a comment.