Poll: How often do your clients provide you with style guides?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:49
SITE STAFF
Feb 13

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do your clients provide you with style guides?".

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes and no Feb 13

I don't need no style guide. I got style for miles, baby.

Though most specify "British English", which should be enough of a style guide for anyone.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never Feb 13

Not that I recall. And as far as my regular clients are concerned, I'm their "style guide"…

And if they did, I would probably find it a constraint, as if they were saying "here, just slip into this straitjacket and put this bag over your head…"

[Edited at 2018-02-13 09:07 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 13

In over 40 years only one client has provided a style guide ! I translate a lot for the European Institutions and “The Interinstitutional Style Guide” contains all the stylistic rules and conventions which must be used…
http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-000500.htm


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Feb 13

For one of my main clients, I wrote their 200-page style manual.

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Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:49
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Quite a few Feb 13

A few agencies primarily keep me working on assignments for the same end client. Most of these end clients have a style guide, some also have an in-house translation team and only outsource certain subject areas.
Two of my agencies have an agency style guide.
A few direct clients have asked me to set up a style guide as part of the project. This was primarily organisations having material translated for the first time, or having previous translations re-worked and aligned after realising that there was inconsistency in their existing texts.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not often Feb 13

I proofread academic papers for one client, and they often ask me to use the APA style guide.
I have the Chicago Manual of Style and use it occasionally - I ought to do so more often!

Otherwise I have my UK gurus - updated editions of Ernest Gowers' Plain Words, Greenbaum & Whitcut's Guide to English Usage, and Michael Swan.

I have thumbed through them and adopted my own style based on them. If clients question it, I can quote my books, and if the client insists, offer them an alternative that we can agree on.


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Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Quite a lot Feb 13

I do a lot of work for UN agencies (as the subcontractor at the end of the supply chain...) and often consult the UN editorial manual at http://dd.dgacm.org/editorialmanual/. I'm so used to it that that's what clients who don't specify any particular style get, though they don't know that, of course.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:49
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not often Feb 13

Not often, considering a formal style guide. Very often, considering sporadic rules and standards they simply inform in their e-mails, but not in a style guide format.

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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:49
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
with you there! Feb 13

neilmac wrote:

Not that I recall. And as far as my regular clients are concerned, I'm their "style guide"…

And if they did, I would probably find it a constraint, as if they were saying "here, just slip into this straitjacket and put this bag over your head…"

[Edited at 2018-02-13 09:07 GMT]


You said it far more eloquently than I could!

I usually include my style guide with their company-specific glossary, so that they know how to make any changes. I freaked out totally earlier this week when a client sent me back my "corrected" translation complete with US dates (and mistakes of course but that's a whole different topic)


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
sometimes Feb 14

Working for [direct] clients for awhile does require new instructions for specific jobs only, not very oft

[Edited at 2018-02-14 07:48 GMT]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:49
Member
English to French
Sometimes Feb 14

Accented capitals, curly apostrophes, use of uppercase, punctuation, quotation marks, text formatting, terminology/phraseology lists...
Style guides are helpful to set the stage and ensure some kind of consistency and "brand identity" across a variety of media (printed, web, UI, marketing, communications...).

But past a few "specificities", style guides are all the same and only require translators to write properly. And it's not a given, apparently, because I have seen some that contain really basic kindergarten spelling and grammar tips. Sadly, It defeats the purpose by drowning those "specificities" into an ocean of obvious reminders.

Philippe


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