6 Tips to Write an Effective Translation Brief

Translation is a time-consuming, complicated process that needs different elements to fall in place for it to be successful. Anytime you need a translation service completed, you must find a professional translator or an agency that can do the job for you. Once that is done, you may think that it is enough for you to send the document, text, or file to the translator. However, it isn’t that simple. Effective translation requires meticulous work with instructions and guidance from the client. The client needs to prepare a guide or a translation brief that has all the information that the translator requires before working on the job. Good translators will always ask for a detailed translation brief that will help them provide the service that you need. One needs to be aware of the project, the purpose and consumers of the translation, some references for its style, and more information before taking on a translation job. Here are 6 steps to write an effective translation brief.

Introduction to the project

This introduction gives the translator an idea of what the project is and what they need to do. Basic information like contact details that includes the name, email address, and phone number of the hiring party is an important part of the introduction. Then comes the title of the project that makes it easier for everyone working on it to refer to it. Another essential element of this section of the translation brief includes the type of project it is that the translator is working on. It is important for them to know whether this is personal writing, academic reading, legal document, or anything else.

Purpose of translation

This part of the translation brief talks about the main purpose of this translation service. It would help the translation agency to know what you are going to be using this text for. Most agencies and freelance translators have pre-designed templates for different kinds of translation texts. This way, even in the case of getting an incomplete translation brief, they would be able to complete the job efficiently if they know what the purpose of the translation is. For example, if thesis writers require translation services for their academic papers, they need it to be done in a very professional way that doesn’t take away the seriousness of paper writing. Writing assignment work and translating it effectively is a very difficult task. You can describe the purpose of translation in a single statement. Make sure you are specific in your instructions to make it easier for the translator to do their job well.

Describe the users of translation

It is important to convey information in a way that is best understood by the users. This means that anyone writing or translating content needs to keep in mind the consumers of translation. Translators need to know if they have to stick to a particular style or tone in the document. This is why it would be easier if you provided useful information about your target audience. Efficient translators6 will need to know aspects like age, nationality, sex, level of education, social status, and other information related to the target audience. They will then be able to translate the original documents in a way that makes them easier to consume by the intended users.

Information on the target language

All the languages that are spoken in different parts of the world have distinct variants developed over years. If you want your translation to be done in a particular language, it is best to mention what variant or dialect to stick to. You need to specify what the target language is and what country or region the audience consuming the translation is from. An experienced translator will keep in mind important factors like local culture conventions, habits, slang, dialects, and vocabulary while translating texts into a foreign language. Try to provide your translator with as much information as you can about the target language and the audience of the translation for the most effective service.q

Add reference material

Every well-written translation brief intends to make the life of the translator a little easier by providing them with all information required to make an excellent translation. If you work for a company and are required to get some documents translated into a different language, you would want to mention the type of tone and style that the translator should take for this particular text. Each company has a style of communication that is perfected over years with help from a copywriter. Maybe you have a brand or style guide that you can use for this purpose. You can provide the translator with a detailed description of the tone of voice if you don’t have a style guide or other reference material to provide them. You could also give the translator a dictionary or glossary of technical terms that they may need for the best translation.

Provide deadlines

Last but not the least, you must provide your translator with adequate time and fixed deadlines for the translation job. If there are milestones that you would like them to achieve by a specific date, you can mention them in the translation brief as well. Be as clear as possible to avoid any misunderstandings or delays. Make sure you give your translator all the information they need before they start working on the project.


Writing an effective translation brief is the best way to make sure that your translation work is as good as you want it to be. You will have great control over the content that your translator will come up with if you are able to communicate everything you need in a detailed manner. A small effort could set a precedent for all future work you get done by a translator. This is especially true if you have a lot of content to be translated.

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional content creator, copywriter, and editorial manager on a number of content writing projects. Her experience in digital marketing and professional development has enabled her to write better articles, essays, and case studies on these topics. Jessica enjoys reading personal development lit and listening to podcasts.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Pinterest
Share on Reddit
Share on Telegram
Share via WhatsApp
Share via email

OTHER ARTICLES IN OUR BLOG