FAQ about translation

After some years of working in the translation industry, I realized that most of my clients have the same doubts when it comes to hiring a professional translator. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen that my colleagues are receiving these same questions from their clients, too. So, time has come for me to write a blog post about the most frequently asked questions about translation.

Pro tips

First things first. Let me tell you some tips you should know before hiring your next language service provider (LSP).

I’m sure you think that just a Google search will be enough to find your translator.

However, it’s always important to narrow your search down to a professional translator who works within your specific niche.

For example, if you are looking to translate your blog on health, you should make sure that your translator specializes in that area. It will be a lot easier for you both because you both know what you are talking about. And, it will be a lot easier for your target audience to read smoothly the information you want to share with them.

It’s also very important that the files you send to your future translator are editable. Translations are usually charged based on word count. If your file is a scan or a picture of a document, it will be quite challenging to count words and, in some cases, professional translators tend to charge a bit extra for having to adjust files into an editable format.

Another significant aspect that will save you loads of time in the future is: share as much information as you can with your translator.

  1. Who’s your target audience?
  2. Are you aiming for a specific country?
  3. How old are your readers?
  4. How formal do you want your speech to sound?
  5. Are there any concepts that you’d like to keep in your own language?
  6. If so, why?

It’s very important to know the answers to these questions before delivering a good quality translation.

Moving on to FAQ about translations

  • How long does it take?

It’s relative but let me tell you that in an ideal world, a professional translator would be able to translate 2k words per day.

Why is it relative? Well, because there’s a lot of research involved and it depends on how familiar your translator is with the topic. Sometimes, I myself felt surprised about how fast I could go. Other times, I’ve had to work on what seemed to be simple phrases for a whole afternoon.

  • How many languages can you speak?

Classic! People tend to think that a translator speaks 4+ languages. Actually, most professional translators can speak fluently 2 or 3 languages. In any case, it’s not the number of languages that should sound appealing but the quality of their translations.

  • Will you maintain the format of my text?

As long as your files are editable, you shouldn’t have to worry about the format of your text. Most translators work with specific software or online tools that allow them to focus only on the text without having to “touch” any part of the format.

  • Will you handle the proofreading?

I’ve been asked this question by most of my clients. My answer is usually YES. I often work together with other colleagues to deliver a high-quality translation that has already been proofread. However, I do know some other translators who prefer to focus mainly on the translation process and would rather let someone else deal with the proofreading.

  • Do you work with companies or individuals?

In my case, I work with both companies and individuals. All clients are welcome (I guess I speak for most freelancers here) and they will all be treated with the same level of professionalism on my end.

  • How much does it cost?

The star question, right? There is a lot of debate about it and, of course, it depends on who you hire. Most professional translators work with suggested prices from associations they belong to, such as ATA, IAPTI or CTPCBA. According to these associations, prices may vary from €0.07 per word to €1 per word. There are many factors to consider when quoting a translation job: urgency, certification, length, format (sometimes files are not editable, and it takes longer to finish the job), proofreading, technicality, research, etc.

Did I solve any of your doubts? Do you still have questions? Hit the comment button and let me know!

Hi there! I’m Ariadna, from ariadnatranslations.com

I’m here to share some thoughts and ideas about my job as a translator. I love writing about language, women/feminism, health and wellbeing, among other interesting topics. If you liked what you read above, I invite you to comment and share in your social media.