7 Tips for Getting a Translation

  • 04/03/2019
  • 0
  • Admin

We are often asked for translations by those who are new to the process and unsure how to go about getting the best service while attempting to stay within budget. Pricing can seem outrageously high or worryingly cheap and the service you get will depend on your perceptions as a buyer.

If you have never bought translation services or are new to the idea of having your marketing copy localised, technical data produced so it can be read by your overseas clients or contracts delivered to the letter, we have identified these 7 simple tips to help.

1. Define your subject. The translator should be selected on their knowledge of the field; giving medical translations to an engineering graduate tends not to give satisfactory results.

2. Provide glossaries if your text is highly specialised. You may know what those three letter abbreviations (TLAs) stand for but they don’t always mean the same thing to a translator. It helps to know for sure and speeds up the process.

3. Specify the source and target languages. Translators should normally work from source language into their mother tongue. You may find translators that work both ways but buyer beware – ask for evidence of proficiency in these instances. What qualifies a person to translate into their non-native language?

4. Set a deadline for completion. But be realistic - 10,000 words is unlikely to be done effectively overnight. If it has taken you two weeks to write, it can’t be assumed that a translator will turn it around in a fraction of that time with the necessary attention to detail. If it is a rush job, the translator (or their agency) will advise you if it is possible to do in the time given.

5. Set the budget. There is no hard and fast rule surrounding pricing; structures are as varied as the language combinations that may be requested. Simply put, you will get what you pay for. Is it worth jeopardising your company name for a cheap and error-filled text for the sake of a few pennies? Shop around and see what range of rates there appears to be but - like anything - a good reputation and lots of experience wins in all cases.

6. Second opinions are always good. Make sure your text is being proof-read by a second professional if you value accuracy. Is it included in the price?

7. You need a seven? Relax. Good translators are professionals, are highly knowledgeable and if they are worth engaging, they are worth trusting. They will advise, guide and discuss your project with you. If you need to read more, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting has an excellent and in-depth guide to help you buy all manner of language services,
For a no-obligation quote, please call our service team on 01273 473986, we’ll be happy to advise you and ensure timely, cost effective delivery of your project.


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