What to expect when you’re expecting...a translation

Are you a new translation buyer? Not sure what to expect when it comes to a time line for your project? The truth is, it depends on the project. Here are our top 3 tips on what you should expect when purchasing translation.

1) Consider the scope of the project. Just like any project your company has in the pipeline, you want to consider the scope before you can create a true time line.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many languages are involved?
  • Is the source text in its final format or does it still require some tweaking?
  • What is the length of the text and what kind of language is used (technical, marketing, legal, etc.)?

2) What is your time line?

  • Be realistic. By this we mean that it isn’t realistic to ask for a 100-page manual for the next day. If you do have a tight time line on your end, expect to pay rush fees.
  • Remember that if you make changes to the document after you have already provided the “final” version to the Language Service Provider (LSP), translation turn-around time (as well as cost) may have to be extended as well.
  • Do you plan to make edits to the text with in-country reviewers after you receive the translation back from the LSP? If so, factor in the amount of time this will take.

3) Be available. Sometimes linguists have questions about the text and what the author wishes to convey to the reader. It is important to be available to answer any terminology-related questions that may arise. Even though translators do quite a bit of research, some terms can be translated in multiple ways, depending on the context. Your input might be necessary to choose the best term.

  • You may want to request updates from the LSP on how the project is going from time to time if you have a fairly comfortable time line.
  • If you are not the main point of contact on your team for the LSP, make sure to provide the information of the individual who is.  If you are in a different time zone, let the LSP know this as well.
  • When your LSP asks questions related to a document, whether before the project begins or during, it means one thing: the LSP you selected pays attention to detail. Clarifications are key in delivering an accurate translation.

Once the project manager working with you can review your document(s), he will be able to provide a realistic time line for your specific project. This way, you will know what to expect before it’s due.