Mobile menu

Adhering to different style guides from different clients
Thread poster: Marion Rooijmans

Marion Rooijmans
Netherlands
Local time: 19:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sep 24, 2008

Several clients sent me a style guide when I started working for them. Some clients even sent multiple style guides, one for each end client or type of text. I'm not sure how to deal with all these style guides. It's impossible for me to remember every single rule for every single client, although I haven't had any complaints about not adhering to the style guide so far. Does anyone have a good solution for this? Furthermore, do you think it is fair for the client or agency to impose these rules on the translator, or should the translator translate as he/she sees fit and the agency decide if this translator's style matches the agency's needs?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's just a matter of being organized Sep 24, 2008

One way to deal with this is to have a separate folder on your hard drive for each client's projects, starting with an Instructions subfolder.

Marion Rooijmans wrote:
Furthermore, do you think it is fair for the client or agency to impose these rules on the translator, or should the translator translate as he/she sees fit and the agency decide if this translator's style matches the agency's needs?


It's perfectly reasonable for an agency or an end client to impose a house style, as long as it was created by someone who knows the target language well (rather than trying to impose the norms of one language on another).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:12
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
My process for using style guides Sep 24, 2008

It's good that clients provide style guides - it's easier to give the end client what they want if a style guide is followed from the beginning. It's good to have clear expectations. However, I feel your pain about trying to remember every rule. Here is what I do:

* Save the style guide to the appropriate client's folder (I organize my jobs by client).

* Review the style guide before beginning the job and note down particular points to remember. I do this every time I have to use the same style guide: usually it's been a while since the last job, and I need a refresher.

* If the style guide contains a list of preferred terms, I edit this into a simple Word table and import into Wordfast - then when I'm translating, the terms in the list get highlighted in the source segment, and I can be sure I'm using the client's preferred term. Since I use a different TM for each (end) customer and the glossary is linked to a specific TM, it's easy to make sure I'm only using that particular customer's preferred terms and not mixing them up.

Hope that helps.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 13:12
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
One folder for each client Sep 24, 2008

I keep one folder (with several sub-folders) for all the instructions and documents sent by each client. I'm not talking about project-specific documents, but NDAs, FTP instructions, style guides, etc. I let TO3000 take care of the folders, and it certainly makes the job much easier, but you can also do it manually. In TO3000, I just flag the clients that expect me to use a particular format or style, but if you manually organize your client-folders, you could add a star (*) or some other symbol that catches your attention.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:12
Italian to English
It's much easier if the rules are clear from the start Sep 24, 2008

Marion Rooijmans wrote:

Furthermore, do you think it is fair for the client or agency to impose these rules on the translator, or should the translator translate as he/she sees fit and the agency decide if this translator's style matches the agency's needs?



The client's wishes should really be respected if you want to work for them again

On a more serious note, style conventions are part of language, which is our business, so we should at least take them into consideration. For example, I have one regular client who needs two different styles (US and UK English), depending on the document to be translated.

But even when there is no initial requirement, I prefer to propose a default style guide (Chicago and Oxford are mine, but there are plenty of others) when submitting my quotation in order to avoid irritating subsequent exchanges with customers who think that commas should always precede/follow inverted commas etc.

Luckily, most English-speaking publishers have their own style guides, and copy editors who make sure they are observed, but other direct customers and agencies are often lamentably relaxed about this sort of thing.

If you can, take the initiative. The customer will thank you for it in the long run.

HTH

Giles


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Adhering to different style guides from different clients

Advanced search


Translation news





Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs