Information useful to a translator to fine-tune translation results
For you to receive an accurate quotation and a translation that best fulfils your needs, please provide your translator with answers to the following questions:
- What is the nature of the text to be translated? Is it commercial, legal, academic, financial etc.?
- Who is your target readership? The general public, business partners, students, consumers with no knowledge of the subject, lay enthusiasts?
- What will the text be used for? For a trade fair, general marketing purposes, staff training, to tender for a project etc…
- How many words does your text have? In the UK, translators work in 1000s of words, in Germany, however, translators calculate prices per line.
- By when do you need the translation?
- What format is the source text in?
- Can the translator overtype the original or does the translator have to reformat the text?
- How will the translator receive the text that is to be translated? By email attachment, in the body of an email, by Dropbox link, file sharing service or surface mail?
- Does your company have a house style that the translator needs to mimic?
- What are your contact details?
However, even having been given all the above information, please understand that a translator cannot give you an accurate quotation without having had sight of the text in question.
How to maximise the efficiency of the translation process
- Provide the translator with a source text that is succinct. Superfluous text costs you unnecessary money.
- Use illustrations/maps/diagrams. They can often explain facts better than texts.
- Allow enough time for the translation process. A rushed translation can miss nuances that a thoroughly researched one will convey.
- Finalise your text, before you pass it on to the translator. Changes can lead to additional cost, a frustrated translator and increased revision time.
- Expect queries from your translator. It is indeed very rare that a text is so well written that there are no ambiguities. To translate a text well, the translator needs to understand it one hundred percent. A good translator will pick out inconsistencies, inaccuracies and obvious mistakes. Most translators will pass on this information to you free of charge.