Fair Employment and Housing Act – five tips on translating your policies

The new FEHA regulations have been in place for a little over a year now. All companies where more than 10% of the workers speak a language other than English must translate its policies into those alternative languages. Have you created a process for the translation of your employment policies?

Managing multilingual content can be a challenge and, like most things, have a steep learning curve. Here are five tips to help you seamlessly translate and manage your policies.

Choose your translator

Internal resources or translation companies – there are pros and cons to each approach.

Using internal translators will likely be the cheaper option, but you will sacrifice quality and turnaround time. “Bob” in marketing may speak Spanish, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a qualified linguist. And he probably has a lot on his plate, so your translation is not going to be a priority.

Partnering with a vendor will likely have hard costs upfront. However, it will give you access to professional translators that are experts when it comes to the nuances of translation. Which can save you a headache down the road stemming from poorly translated content, not to mention time.

If you want to use internal resources, it’s still a good idea to partner with a vendor – they can review the translations done by your internal team.

Use CAT tools

Translation memories (or TM as it’s known in the biz) will save you time and money. On top of that, it will keep translations consistent across all your documents. Terminology tools (termbases) will ensure your terms are always translated correctly.

CAT tools leverage TMs and TBs to allow linguists to use the same translation for the same phrases across different documents.

Manage multilingual content and projects

Still emailing documents? Online portals like this lets your team upload documents, see quotes, and track projects. Utilizing these portals means you can avoid scrambling through your inbox looking for email chains and documents.

Going through a portal also means peace of mind – security is tight. All data communication is encrypted.

Don’t make translation an afterthought

This is now the “law of the land” in CA. Know when you have updates to policies and have a process already in place to translate. You should know what policies need to be translated, how you are going to translate the policies, what languages you need them translated into, and when the translations need to be completed by.

Once you have a process in place, updates are easy to keep up with. You’ll have a TM to leverage so you won’t have to translate the same passages twice.

Ask for help

Reach out to the experts to discuss best practices when it comes to translation. Do your research and find people in your network who have experience dealing with translation projects. You will be happy you did.

If you don’t know where to start, Supertext is happy to help! Give us a call, or drop us a line.

Title image via thebluediamondgallery.com (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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