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You can use this Style Guide Template to create one of your own. In cases where we don’t receive any instructions from you, we default to the “Lingo24 standard” (see below).

Element 1: Tone of voice

Organisations will usually speak to groups of people differently depending on the audience. This information is essential for your translation to be fully accurate because it helps us to identify the translation context and determine the most suitable approach.

Specifically, we need to know where and how the translated content will be published, who will read it, and what tone would be most appropriate for them.

Your custom guidelines

1. Tell us about your company’s values.

2. Tell us the following about your content:

  • Purpose/intended use
  • Target audience (e.g. age, gender, education, profession, preferences, pain points, etc.)
  • Tone of voice (e.g. form of address, salutation and closing, formal or informal, jargon, slang, company-specific expressions, etc.).

Lingo24 standard

If you cannot provide any information on your company’s tone of voice, our translation will mirror the style of the source content and our translators will make informed decisions about what tone of voice would be suitable for the translated content. We will contact you if we have any queries.

Element 2: Fluency

Maintaining fluency in your translations is about sticking to local language conventions and preferences.

Your custom guidelines

Brief us on any specific instructions that differ from standard target language rules and conventions on your:

  • Voice and tense
  • Pronouns
  • Punctuation (e.g. quotation marks, brackets, etc.)
  • Spelling (e.g. diacritical marks, capitalisation, etc.).

Lingo24 standard

Grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax follow the standard rules and conventions of the target language unless you share any specific instructions and preferences.

Element 3: Terminology

Proper names (people, brands, services, products, departments, titles)

Your content might contain your brand strapline, names of products or services, or people’s names. These are all part of your brand identity, and just like with fluency, it’s important to get these right to make sure your messaging is clear.

Your custom guidelines

Use this list of different courses of action (letters a-e) for each of the content categories listed below.

a) Translate in full
b) Do not translate
c) Include the translation/clarification in brackets after the original
d) Include the original in brackets next to the translation
e) Transliterate into the target alphabet if that alphabet is different from the source (Latin, Cyrillic, Asian, Arabic).

  • Corporate names and trademarks
  • Placeholders
  • Department/agency/division/branch/business unit names
  • Professional/job titles
  • Cities and states
  • Brand names
  • Titles of work
  • Product/service names
  • Geographical names
  • Scientific names
  • Other.

Lingo24 standard

People’s names are left unchanged.

If the target language has an official or widely-used equivalent name for a brand, service, product or similar, the translation will reflect that. Otherwise, names of this kind are also left unchanged.

Content is not transliterated for non-Latin alphabet target languages, unless there are custom instructions to do so.

Titles (e.g. job titles, titles of work) are translated using the official equivalent – or, if available, the most widely-used equivalent – in the target language.

Element 4: Acronyms and abbreviations

Your custom guidelines

Decide how to deal with acronyms and abbreviations, and provide us with a list of commonly-used acronyms and abbreviations from your content, along with explanations of what they mean if they are not widely known:

  1. Use the target language equivalent if the acronym or abbreviation is widely known or available
  2. Translate the acronym and abbreviation in full, and include the source acronym and abbreviation in brackets next to the translation
  3. Keep the original acronym and abbreviation, and include an explanation for the acronym and abbreviation in brackets after the original
  4. Transliterate into the target alphabet if that alphabet is different from the source (Latin, Cyrillic, Asian, Arabic).

Lingo24 standard

Widely-known acronyms (abbreviations that are pronounced as a word, e.g. “sonar” or “NATO”) are translated using the target language equivalent.

The approach for acronyms without a recognised equivalent depends on the content, its audience, and what the acronym means. Accuracy, clarity and readability of the translated content are key factors in determining how they should be treated.

Abbreviations (formed from the first letter of each of the words of a specific name, phrase or concept) that appear in the source are translated using the target language equivalent. No other abbreviations are used in the translation.

Element 5: Locale convention

Closely tied to fluency are locale conventions. When your target local audience consumes your content, they expect the content to have the same language structure and signposts that they’re used to – things like decimal points being in the right place and the correct format for the time, date and year. It’s important to apply these features consistently in your content.

Your custom guidelines

Decide whether to retain the source format or localise the following: 

  1. Number format
  2. Measurement format
  3. Date and time format
  4. Address format
  5. Telephone and fax format.

If you wish to localise any of the following, please share custom information that will allow us to adapt the content to your target markets:

  • Currency exchange rates
  • Localised URLs
  • Localised addresses
  • Localised email addresses
  • Localised telephone and fax numbers
  • Localised special characters/symbols.

Lingo24 standard

If using the source format would compromise the meaning or accuracy of the translation, and if no specific guidelines are required, the source content will be localised as follows:

  • Number format – as per target language conventions for the separation of thousands and decimals.
  • Measurement format – as per the standard measurement units of the target language, converting the corresponding value using free online conversion tools. Depending on the nature of the content and the level of precision required in rendering the values, converted values are rounded up or the exact conversion is used.
  • Date and time format – as per the standard rules of the target language.
  • Address format – as per the standard rules of the target language.
  • Telephone and fax format – as per the standard rules of the target language.

Element 6: Design

Lingo24 standard

The layout of the translated content preserves the structure (e.g. paragraph breaks, line breaks, etc.) of the original source content unless there are specific source file format challenges (e.g. scanned content, tables, graphs, etc.) or unless otherwise agreed or required as per our design and formatting services.

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