by Maria Rotger


Style Guides Translation

One linguistic service we make available to our clients is the localization and translation of style guides or style manuals, generally written in the primary working language of a company or project.

These texts may need to be adapted to their other working languages and utilized as a guide for future translations.

Academic translation service

When to translate style guides

When translating texts from a company that has a style guide, it is crucial to keep in mind that you have to localize the content of this style guide to the languages to which you are translating.

Any company or project can have a style guide, so it is interesting to consult with the client before starting each translation or revision work.

In any event, the types of companies that are most likely to have their manual are:

  • news media outlets
  • publishing houses
  • marketing project providers
  • linguistic service providers
  • large firms or working on an international scale

What is a style MANUAL OR guide?

Knowing what style guides, also called style manuals, are and what we expect from them is fundamental knowledge to be able to translate one.

Ideally, the linguists entrusted with translating a style manual should know what is required to create one and would be able to create or update one given the case.

It is essential to be extremely familiar with the company to whom a style guide belongs to translate its manual.

What you need to know to create and maintain a style guide:

  • Philosophy or message that the company wants to communicate
  • Target audience
  • Required style and desired tone of the text
  • Applicable vocabulary and appropriate language to use
  • Formatting and paragraph stipulations
  • Desired use of capital and lowercase letters
  • SEO and keyword analysis
  • Other aspects such as desired use of quotation marks and other punctuation
  • Any crucial characteristics of the company or project that should be highlighted or taken into consideration for any particular reason
Automotive engineering translation

The purpose of style guides is to:

  • Maintain consistency throughout all written and communicative content for a company or project
  • Answer the questions of both current and future writers as they join the team
  • Set content quality standards

Style manuals ongoing updates

Lastly, style guides must be continuously updated and revised for each new project and copywriting, including translations.

The same goes for the correct use of translation memories, where we save these files so that translations for a single company or texts concerning a specific project are consistent.

So we must follow their patterns and rules to use the appropriate language consistently. However, the style chosen should not be allowed to become archaic, but it should evolve with the company, be corrected, and adapt to new situations that we didn’t anticipate in the old version.

Style guides should not be baffling, rigid lists of permanently unyielding rules, but accompanying the company’s development and its activities, their life cycles must expect:

  • modifications
  • updates
  • edits
  • adaptations

All these factors should be taken into account when embarking on a translation using a style manual:

  • be it the translation of a style manual itself, or
  • of a text involving a style manual to which the translated text must adhere, which hasn’t been translated before and that we must adapt on site.

To fulfill a style guide translation and localization with a seasoned translator—we've got you covered.