There are certain situations in which, due to some unforeseen event, carelessness or any life surprise a text must be translated urgently. This usually happens when a document must be sent to the printers and part of it was forgotten, for preparing a presentation in another country during a flash business trip, or for a legal or administrative procedure, etc.
It’s then when we find a large number of words that must be translated at record speed, or even in impossible times. And unfortunately, the roadrunner and Speedy Gonzalez are not translators!
In addition, all kinds of obstacles usually appear in the middle, such as the target being an exotic language, or that linguists are on the other side of the world and are sleeping at the time of crisis, files needing a complex preparation before translation etc. In short, you have to be prepared for everything.
What options do we have in these cases? I wish there was a 911 for language emergencies, but there are a couple of aces up your sleeve that can save your skin.
One of them is automatic (or machine) translation, which accuracy is constantly improving. Very long texts can be translated instantly with just a click of the mouse. Of course, they are not perfect translations, but it is an ideal solution if you are looking for usability and you only need to have a general idea of the document’s content. In case that better quality is required, the post-editing step is performed, which is faster than translating from scratch and yields very good results.
There are other times when you have files in non-editable formats and there is simply no time for the entire conversion process (file preparation, recreation) for which there is the alternative of extracting simple and unformatted text for an efficient translation and then, deliver it in a “side-by-side” format —that is, two columns, one with the source language and the other with the translation.
It is very difficult to establish a general rule for all these types of emergencies because each project has its peculiarities. It only takes experience, the right tools and also a little ingenuity to be able to deliver everything on time and achieve an exultant outcome for every urgency.
At Trusted Translations we know a lot about these issues and our team is prepared to work on all types of projects, whether urgent or not.