Translate Documents With or Without a Layout?

The question of this post is common in our clients when considering how to translate documents. Many come to us with the idea of editing the document, do not know whether to do the typesetting or not or think that by default Chinese translators and language professionals know how to design. For this, in this post we tell you some things that can be decisive when considering how to translate documents. With layout or without it? Go for it!

Layout for translation

But what exactly is the layout?

The layout(or typesetting) is the technique that is responsible for having written and visual contents (nowadays, also audiovisual) in the same space . As we say, it is a technique , and as such it requires the learning of some knowledge , and not all people possess the skills to carry it out .

Translators are not layout-makers

It seems obvious, but it is not so. Many think that the layout is included when translating a document . Or that the translators are always experts in layout. And nothing is further from reality. Both are different and highly specialized professions.  Because of this, professionals who know how to translate a document in most cases will not know how to edit it visually. There are many Chinese translation agencies that meet the demand. Of course,  they will never offer you the layout service without specifying it first .

To know how to translate your document, ask yourself what it is meant for.

Therefore, when you go to a translator to ask him/her to translate your documents , consider if you need the layout too, so that we can plan it with you. Consider the following points to decide on how to translate your document, i.e., what needs do you have:

The layout is necessary when translation of the document is going to be shown to a client or a third person with whom you have to look your best . Such as business dossiers, catalogs, instruction books …
Layout is useful when the public is not going to be extremely critical, but has to access the documents. Maybe you can disregard the layout if you translate a circular or an internal power point presentation, for example.

Layout is unnecessary when the translation of the document is going to be transferred to a different platform. This happens mostly in virtual environments. Do you want to translate a website, or translate your posts on the social networks? Then you may have to consider how to translate your document to work on these channels. But in these cases the layout will serve little …

Only after you know the details we will decide how to translate a document, and you must transmit it to us.

Obviously, as translators we know how to translate a document. But we do not know your standards or needs the first time we talk. We can advise you, give you recommendations, but the final answer is yours. Once you are clear that the layout is not included in the language translation process, consider if you want us to do it.

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