No matter, if this is your first translation project or you have already managed several projects, understanding the whole language translation process in-depth, will allow you to not only to save time and money, but also to get better results.

EHLION is a fullservice agency for translation, localisation and international communication. We have put together a guide for you, in which we will explain step by step the language translation process and what you should pay attention to in order to get the best results.

Language translation process steps

Step one: Request for translation

Before sending out an email request for translation, preparing your documents and gathering all the important information is a crucial step. This way, you will avoid unnecessary email correspondence and it will enhance the quality of your translation.

Another important factor when it comes to your translation request is time. There is a reason why they say time is money. And if you want to save money make sure you plan ahead and choose a delivery date with a reasonable time frame. Yes, most language service providers also offer last minute translations, but those express translations will cost you extra.

What information should a translation request contain:

  • Language (into which language should be translated)
  • Target audience
  • Delivery date (allow sufficient time)
  • Technical terms (provide glossaries and if you already have a terminology database, make it available for the translator)
  • Helpful additional information
  • Text (the text to be translated)
  • Editing and proofreading: Is this the final version of the text or should it be edited and corrected?
  • What do you need translation, localisation or transcreation?


It’s important to include not only the language in your request, but also the target market. Because as you know languages like Portuguese, Spanish, English or French are not the same everywhere, there are changes depending on the country where they are spoken. Therefore, it is important to know, if your text is for the Portuguese or to the Brazilian market. This way we can find the right translator for you.
The language is also important to calculate the price as unusual language pairs are often more expensive than common ones like English and Spanish.

Target Audience:

To make sure the translation hits the right tone and style, provide us with information about your target audience. This is important in order to convey your message the way it was meant to. For example, how do you want to address your audience, formally or informally?

Depending on your knowledge about the target language, it might be advisable to consult with your language service provider. For example, while in English we use “you” in singular and plural, in languages like German or Spanish, there are several different ways to say “you”, depending on if it is singular or plural, informal or formal.

Proofreading and editing:

Many language service providers also offer copy editing services or the review of the source text.
They will not only check for things like spelling, grammar or readability, but also for the consistent use of terminology or if certain phrases might be misunderstood.

A well-prepared source text leads to an enhanced quality of your translation. In addition to that it will save you time as you won’t have to respond to several requests for clarification by different translators.

A well-prepared source text is always important, but even more, when you are handling a large localisation project with multiple target languages. Just imagine you would get clarification requests from 5 different translators, because of ambiguous wording.

You can take advantage of review services from a language service provider like EHLION or you can review your text within the company.

Translation, Localization or Transcreation?

Depending on the text, translation might not always be the best choice. For example, if you need a slogan in different languages a transcreation might be the right fit for you.

In our magazine articles “What is transcreation?” And “What is localisation?” you can read in detail what they are and when they are .

If you are uncertain, which is the right fit for your text, don’t hesitate to contact our project managers at EHLION, they are happy to advice you.

Step two: Creation of the proposal

If you send your request for translation, to a language service provider like EHLION, we are going to review everything, calculate the time and costs and prepare a quote for you.  If you accept the proposal we get to work.

Costs for translations may differ, depending on different factors such as:

  • Text volume (often there is a discount for longer texts)
  • Language pairing (unusual language pairs are more expensive)
  • Urgency
  • Level of difficulty
  • formatting tasks

If you have questions or are unsure regarding certain aspects of your translation projects, feel free to reach out to our experienced project managers for a free initial consultation, before you send us your translation request.

translations process
Translations process

Step three: Translation

In this step your text is going to be translated from a source language to one or more target languages.

Quality insurance: In order to guarantee high-quality translations, we only work with professional translators, who are native speakers. In addition to that the translation is proof-read by an additional translator.

Depending on the request of the client, step three might include layouting.

Example: After a text for a brochure has been translated form English to Arabic the layout must be adjusted. This can happen in several different ways.

If a CAT-Tool is used, the translation can be exported and converted into the original format and layout.

While this is already an advantage there is a chance that the layout needs to be further adjusted. This can be the case when the text volume of the source text and the translation differ a lot. Which can easily happen as some languages need way more words than other to say the exact same thing.

Another thing influencing the layout is, if the language is written from left to write or from right to left.

Lay outing can either be done within the company or you can use desktop publishing services, which are often provided by your language service provider.

For example, let’s say you send EHLION the InDesign file of your catalog for which you need a translation into German. We will translate the text, insert it again into the InDesign file that you sent us and adapt the layout accordingly. You’ll receive a print ready document.

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- Professional translations
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Do you need translations of manuals or operating instructions?

- Technical documentation
- Translation of manuals
- Over 800 language combinations

Step four: Review of the translation by the client

In this process step the translation is going to be reviewed by the client. So they can check whether his requirements were met or of the translation needs post-editing.

Step five: Post processing

Even if the translator has worked with the utmost care the translation might still need post-editing. This can have different reasons. Maybe a sentence is missing as we are all humans and can make mistakes or you feel like a paragraph didn’t hit the right tone.

Whatever it is, let your languages service provider know, so they can change the text accordingly.

Conclusion – Knowing the language translation steps can save you time and money


It is worth considering all the mentioned things for your next translation project as it can save you time and money and even enhance the quality of the translation. If you want to know even more about “how to prepare your files for translation?” or “why style guidelines are important for the translation process?” then read our magazine article “Preparing for translation”.

Do you have additional questions or want to request a translation, then get in touch with our experienced project managers at EHLION, we are happy to help you.

EHLION works with qualified translators around the globe and offers language services in more than 100 languages and over 800 language combinations.

As a full-service agency, we want to make your life easier. This means we not only offer translation services, we also got you covered with everything you might need in addiction to that like terminology management, copy editing, desktop-publishing, SEO-translation and much more.

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