7 suggestions for good translations within HR or Human Resources

7 suggestions for good translations within HR or Human Resources

Do you work in the human resources department – HR for short – at an international company? Then you often have to deal with internal communication towards employees who are spread all over the world. For example, you might be responsible for creating instructions for online portals where employees can request their days off, or setting up online training courses within an e-learning platform.

Here are seven tips to help you turn your documents into understandable and clear translations for you HR department, in any language.

1. Be short and powerful

You know, like Ikea's manuals. Short and clear instructions so you can assemble even a complicated cabinet yourself. Less is more. Use a limited number of words to make your message clear. This makes translating easier.

2. Use clear language

Unambiguous descriptions of processes and procedures are easier and more concise to translate than comprehensively described content. The in-house communication officer must find such texts boring, but you’re creating technical and business documents. It doesn't have to be a bestseller.

3. Avoid region-specific expressions

Expressions used in certain regions or countries are difficult to translate into another language. It is best to avoid these kinds of expressions in your texts.

4. Take into account text expansion

Translations are often longer than the source text and therefore contain more characters. If you translate from English to French, you will have about 15% more characters than the original text. This text expansion will have an impact on the layout of your online portal or e-learning platform. Keep this in mind.

5. Avoid 'company language' as much as possible

Many companies use their own business language: personnel, HR, human resources and P&O to name but a few examples. Does your documentation contain specific terms or phrases, the so-called company language? Then make sure the translation agency is informed of this. Give them a glossary.

6. Let the translation agency know the tone of voice

Internal communication must be consistent. Therefore, share previous translations and other business documents with the translation agency. This allows the translators to ensure that HR translations match the tone of voice used within your company.

7. Provide an assigned contact person

The best HR translations are created if there is good communication between the translation agency and the HR manager. The ideal working method is to appoint the author of the document and an HR employee who is familiar with the source documents as contacts. This way, the translation agency knows exactly who to get in touch with for questions or additions.

Professional HR translations

Our professional native language translators will be happy to help you translate all your HR-related documents. Feel free to contact us.

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