When you begin the search for a translator, you will discover that having a reputable translation company to help with your work will open up doors that you have never thought of before. There are a few things that you should know when searching for the right translation service to meet your business needs. Understanding how far in advance you should order a translation and how the price is determined is very important. Read on below for some tips on how the process works when you request services for your translation project:
What is the Size & Scope of the Project?
One of the first things that you should tell a project manager when you are trying to hire a company for your translation purposes is what the size of you project is. Is it one-time or on-going? Is it one industry or multiple industries? It is important for the translator to know what the size and scope of the project is going to be so that they can give you a time frame and a price on the project. Most translators charge by the word and gauge turnaround time by volume of words, so it is important to have your document in a format that allows word count. If word count is not possible, translators may choose to estimate the total count based on a count of words on one page of the document or they may charge hourly if the document is only a few pages. Ultimately, an accurate final quote will depend on the translator seeing the entire project or at a minimum a sample page.
How is the Price of the Project Determined?
A reputable company will always quote you a total estimated price before they begin work. Translators will quote your project based on many factors, including word count, total volume, technical level of the text, source to target language(s), and any time restraints for things like rush projects. Translations may be charged by the word from the source document or by the word for the final document; this is common in languages where the final text will be more words than the original (such as English to Spanish). A professional project manager will always give you the estimated final price and turnaround time before beginning the project or requesting any sort of payment.
How far in Advance Should a Translation be Ordered?
A reasonable deadline for a professional translator is approximately one week. That of course varies by the size and demands of the project. You should determine when your project is due and then decide on how soon you need it before that date (if needed early at all), and allow yourself approximately 7 days for quote and completion. Remember, a project manager will need to review all of the parameters of your project before giving you a quote or assigning a translator so that work can begin. This usually can be done the same day, but large scale projects (or projects that require multiple translators or languages) may require 24-48 hours to review for accurate pricing and delivery times.
It is important to get your translation done on time, and it is also important to avoid rushing the translator after placing your order if you can help it. If you need a document for “rush”, always let the translator know up front. This may result in an additional fee, but it will also help you avoid any problems once the translator begins the project. Translations are project based and as such they are allocated with delivery dates and anticipated work hours. A translator may not be able to do your specific job if you need it rush due to their other projects in queue. It is important to notify the project manager of your needs up front so the translator can be honest and let you know if it can or cannot be done. Many translators can arrange their project schedule to take care of rush requests, but only if they know beforehand. Trying to rush the translator 2 days into the project, after agreeing on a 7 day turnaround, may result in quality issues or the translator letting you know it simply can’t be done.
These are just a few questions that you should consider when looking for a translator for your project. Always be ready to send the translator the document or document sample, and keep in mind each project is unique and requires an evaluation of many parameters to get an accurate quote. A professional translation company will always take the time to properly review your project to ensure they can deliver only the highest quality work.