Tips on Best Practice: Handling Urgent and Large Translation Requests Effectively
The volume of foreign language documents that needs to be translated in the course of international proceedings can, at times, be overwhelming. Managing those volumes to ensure that the translations are suitable for submission on time and in full can be a major challenge, and can divert significant resources from other pressing casework. Below are five tips on how to ensure that urgent and large translation requirements are handled smoothly and efficiently.
- Choose your legal translation service early
The single biggest contributor to large-scale and urgent translation projects becoming a nightmare is the lack of a dedicated legal translation service when volumes surge. When every minute counts, lawyers simply cannot afford to spend time researching various translation options. It is thus crucial that a trusted legal translation service capable of handling urgent high-volume translation requests stands ready to assist you from early in the case. Ideally, having a backup translation service ready as well may be prudent.
- Identify your translation requirements and inform your translation service
Large and urgent translation requests are more challenging to address when the precise requirements are not known or clearly communicated in advance. The most important information to communicate is the need for any subject matter experts, so that the translation service provider can ensure that appropriate people are available to fulfill this requirement, not only professionally, but also promptly. Other requirements may relate to, for example, special style, terminology, and formatting needs for document submission.
- Sort your documents by complexity
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, identify documents that are complex in terms of subject matter or formatting versus the more low-hanging fruit. Prioritize the former.
- Dedicate at least two staff members to deal with translation requirements
Where possible, ensure at least two staff members are available to manage the translation project, particularly if the requirements are complex. That way, there is always someone to pick up the reins if one of the in-house translation managers is unavailable.
- Keep an accurate cloud-based record of translation progress
To avoid confusion, duplication, and misunderstanding, create a log of pending translation requests that can be viewed and accessed both by your staff and the legal translation service provider(s). This should ideally be a single cloud-based document saved on a cloud-based file-sharing platform, such as Dropbox or box.com, that permits both parties to access and update the latest versions of the log, exchange comments and requests, and track progress.