Thursday, December 10, 2015

Consistency in Multilingual Content: Using Style Guides

Just like a human being posesses personality and body language, every company has also developed its unique language and style of communication. But to spread a consistent message and the same "feeling" about your company in global terms, you also need to define your company language and transfer its details and nuances into a clear set of rules. 

What should your style guide cover

The rules, or Style Guides for translation, should describe the following:
  • Term use (incl. forbidden terms)
  • Locale issues (such as digit grouping and number formats in general, punctuation, tense, spelling, abbreviations, etc.), 
  • Authoring issues,
  • How to address the reader,
  • and others.
When we are receiving translation orders at idioma, we always encourage our clients to submit their Style Guides whenever available. Style Guides ensure that your company language gets preserved even though your content is translated by different translators all over the globe. You do not need to worry about problems with localization, inaccurate translation and cost spinaway.
In addition to a style guide, reference material for projects you order are also beneficial and will assure even greater adherence to how your company communicate with customers.

Don't have your own style guide?

Now you may wonder, what to do if you want to achieve consistent multilingual content, but you do not yet have your own translation style guide or the means to create one. Language services providers should be ready for such eventuality. For instance, idioma's TMS platform iQube is loaded with standard locale settings for the languages we work in, which are used as default style guides for accounts where we have not received any instructions or style guide from the client. Once used, style guides become an essential part of your translation process at virtually every stage of it. Our clients receive this Style Guide as a viewable PDF upon request. 
With this muster in your hand, you can indicate any changes and further adaptation of the style guide according to your company needs and thus achieve consistency in your global multilingual content for your brand. 

To learn more about style guides, please contact our project managers.


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