Writing for translation

The Translation Centre’s top strategic priority has always been to ensure high-quality translation for its clients. The quality of a translation depends to a great extent on the quality of the source text. This crucial aspect is often overlooked by many authors, who have not necessarily been trained in professional writing. The Centre offers an editing service for source texts to enhance their linguistic quality and render them fit for translation. However, the best results are achieved when authors draft texts bearing in mind from the start that they will be translated.

Many years ago, the Centre produced two booklets entitled Writing for translation / Écrire pour être traduit. The booklets have been updated regularly and published on the Centre’s website in the main working languages of the Centre, English and French, and they are part of the information package given to all new clients.

Both language versions were last updated at the end of 2019 to reflect the impact of technology on drafting documents. They therefore include for the first time a chapter on technical aspects to bear in mind when producing documents for translation (13. Show technical awareness / 12. Faites preuve de sensibilité technique).

The Centre invites its in-house authors to use the two booklets and encourages all clients to distribute them among their drafting staff and to consult them regularly. Through these booklets and through the presentation that it organises periodically to raise awareness on the same subject, the Centre seeks to coach authors on best practices in drafting texts intended for translation. The Centre also regularly encourages its clients to submit source texts which are technically well-formatted, a sine qua non for the subsequent pre-processing designed to leverage the content of the Centre’s translation memories.

Happy reading and do not hesitate to implement the best practices in the booklets when you next draft a document!