For organizations that translate large volumes of material, style guides can be a godsend. Style guides are created collaboratively between the language services provider and the organization, and they are then used by linguists to communicate an organization’s “style” consistently and accurately with every translated piece. For translators, style guides make the translation process smoother, easier and faster. For clients, style guides ensure that every translated project contains a consistent style, tone and format, no matter the target language or the individual working on it.

What is typically included in a style guide?

Style guides provide translators with a list of standardized elements that must be handled the same way every time. These can include capitalization, grammar, measurements, acronyms, dates and numerals, text never to be translated, company trademarks, formatting (bold, italic, font use, etc.) currencies, and formal versus informal “voice” and tone of language. Style guides are unique for each target language, and larger organizations may maintain style guides in numerous languages. Microsoft has some excellent examples of style guides adapted to reflect the different target languages this organization caters to

Style guides ensure accuracy and consistency

across projects, and languages

By using style guides, organizations can ensure that translated content communicates the same consistent message, no matter how many translators end up working on a particular project. Style guides save time as well, since translated work already conforms to the organization’s stylistic and cultural norms and does not have to be corrected for style, tone or standard elements.

Style guides can initially take ten hours or more to create, as well as additional time for maintenance. However, this relatively small investment poses big rewards in acompany’s future. Once you have your style guides created, they are owned by your company and stored with your translation assets. Your language services provider can help you create and maintain style guides in the target languages you translate into most.

We know how

At Avantpage, we have experience creating style guides. When our translators set to work on a project, these style guides are a critical piece of the translation process, enabling translators to work faster, more accurately, and more cost-effectively.  Less wasted time and effort translates into significant client cost savings.