Style Guide in Translation
There are a few people in this world who do their signature once and their fingers remember the motion for the rest of their lives. They can do their signature the same way each time they pick up their pen and write a cheque. But there are some unfortunate souls in this world who have to intentionally try to do it right each time they are doing their signature on a piece of paper. When they don’t try, their cheques get bounced for not having the original signature. They may feel frustrated but think of it from the perspective of the person or machine who has to see the signature and make sure it matches the original. They wouldn’t be doing their duty if they accepted a slightly different signature.
Signatures are not the only thing that we get accustomed to being the same every time we do them, there are many similar examples in life. Sometimes, just the hello of our friend tells us that something is wrong because their tone is different. It takes years to develop that kind of understanding. But once it has developed, it is impossible to ignore it. The tone, words, and gestures of the people around us tell us a lot more about them than they are willing to show. Although we get better at picking up these signs if we have a connection with the other person, they are visible even in strangers.
You have probably never met your favorite author, but if someone shares a quote from one of their books, you will instantly recognize their style even if you hadn’t read that particular book. Every person, whether they are an artist or a freelancer, have a style that becomes their identity. Filmmakers are recognized by their style and people turn up at the cinemas to see their movies because of that style. When an author or painter use a different writing style or painting technique, you can tell that they are experimenting. If it works, it could become their new style.
However, the one thing that people never realize is that every creator’s methodology is not something that they simply ended up doing. It takes them years to develop a technique and then perfect it. Writers don’t try any approach that comes to their mind when they are writing. They plan ahead so they can stick to the techniques that already work for them. The pattern is quite clear in the example of filmmakers. Their techniques are too obvious in each of their movies to be considered an accident. It takes them years to experiment with different ideas and pick up one that expresses their personality like nothing else. Because at the end of the day, each creator expresses themselves through their work.
What Is A Style Guide in Translation World?
There is no field left in the world today that doesn’t utilize the benefits of translation. From healthcare to businesses, every industry is grateful to have access to quality translations. Since it is used all across the world, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be a technique in translation too. If a business’s documents have a different tone each time they are translated, it will confuse their clients and investors both. Even in the healthcare industry, the professionals don’t have time to get acquainted to a new style every day. This is why it is essential to have a methodology that makes sure each new translation looks and reads the same way.
Style guide is a word that is frequently thrown around among freelancers but new translators might not know what it means and what’s its importance. Before it can be created, a study about the target audience should be made. Once their age group and preferences are clear then work can be started on creating a guide for the translations.
It is a tone and formatting style that has to be followed in translations which will work for both your brand and your audience. Researching the target audience is not the only thing that’s required for making a style guide, a business has to decide its own preferences too. This is why a style guide in the world of translation is a very complicated thing. It has to be created after proper research or your translators will feel lost and confused.
But one thing in which the style guide in translation differs from every creator’s work is that it can be updated regularly. Depending on changes in the target audience or company policy, the style guide can also go through updates. However, if a translation has to target multiple audiences then instead of changing the style guide every time, a translator can create multiple style guides. This way each translation will have a different tone and will be targeting a specific group of people.
Every creator has their unique style but if you let your translators bring theirs to each document they work on, your business’s tone will never be consistent. This is why style guides are created to help both the translators and the businesses. The interpreters know beforehand what they should do with a document and they can follow the guidelines without having to come up with their own ideas for the tone. The style guide will also have a great impact on your target audience. People are more willing to trust something consistent and that’s what your translations will be with the help of a style guide.