If you have ended up here it is because you need a translation job done well. Whether it’s your website, blog or some advertising brochures you are finishing up, the truth is that there are particular ways to order a translation. Let us help you better understand the work of professional translators with five essential tips.
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
- What exactly do you want to translate?
- Who is this document for?
- Why do they offer me a revision?
- Dig out those internal glossaries and manuals
- How much will I be charged?
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”
Six months ago the decision was made to translate a document into English and for all that time it has lain forgotten on your desk, and now it turns out that it has to be translated, checked, designed and printed in just two days. Translators are used to handling large volumes of work, working against the clock and under pressure and not resting at the weekend, but they also only have 24 hours in a day. We always recommend being realistic and, as far as possible, arranging the translation in advance.
What exactly do you want to translate?
Sometimes, if people are in a hurry, they send thirty pages of a tender to be translated when, for example, only the first ten pages are really relevant for their work. Therefore, we recommend that you read the document quickly and decide from the start the length of the text (in terms of pages, paragraphs, number of words, etc.) you want to have translated. That will prevent there being any surprises in the final bill.
Who is this document for?
you should be clear about the purpose of the translation and its final recipient. As you can imagine, a translation for a public body is not the same thing as a translation for a judge, a company, or a potential customer. We could start with a basic question, which is whether you can do with an ordinary translation or need a sworn translation. Most personal documents usually sent to companies and organisations abroad (e.g. certificate of criminal record, university degree, marriage certificate, etc.) require a sworn translation. In this case, you should ensure that the company or the translator who will translate your document is approved and certified as a sworn translator by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
Once you are clear about the type of translation you need, examine the resources available. We have already said that if you need a sworn translation, the translator must be a sworn translator, but what if you can do with an ordinary translation? Then you should take into factors into account, such as the nature of the text to be translated. You should look for translators who specialise in the topic in question. Some documents require a very high degree of specialisation, as there are complex subject with a very specific vocabulary that not all translators are familiar with. Translating a financial text is not the same thing as translating a scientific or a legal text, in the same way that literary translation requires writing skills and advertising translation requires creativity.
The quote includes the cost of reviewing the translation. Aren’t they supposed to be professionals?
All documents need checking over, even those we write ourselves, so why does it seem strange for translations to be reviewed too? Terminology, typos and formatting are some of the aspects that reviewers are responsible for checking. So don’t worry if the translation company gives you a quote for a review service. It’s sign that the company is as interested as you are in producing the best possible result.
It’s time to dig out those internal glossaries and style manuals
Not everyone is aware of details such as your preferred font or internal business terminology. For example, the document you passed to the translator may be in Arial, while the official font used by your business is Times New Roman. These little details are usually set out in company style guides, so if you have one or any internal glossaries, please do not hesitate to offer them to your translation provider as they will be very useful and save everyone time.
How much will you charge?
For the reasons above, our answer is always: “It depends”. When it comes to giving a price quote, we take these factors into account (as well as the language pair, obviously). Having a comfortable deadline to translate and proofread a text, however long it is, is not the same thing as having to do it urgently (in which case, obviously, it’s more expensive). Nor are scientific and sworn translations usually charged at the same rates as general translations. Likewise, if the format of a document is hard to lay out, this will also be reflected in the price. Many customers don’t realise this until we tell them, but a Word text is not the same – or as hard – as a Pdf file. The difference is important when it comes to counting the number of words to translate or the text layout.
Are you ready to order a translation now?