As a translator, I am working with clients all day every day and I have learned over the past two decades of experience owning ACR Spanish Translations that there are some key things every translator needs to know before you hire them. So get out your notepad and take some notes for the next time you need something translated! What follows us what translators like me need to know from clients:
- Do you need a translator or an editor or both? True translations do not involve editing your original writing. In fact, if there are errors in the original document, translators usually just note the error in the translation without correcting it so as not to violate any ethical standards. If you require editing in addition to translation services, feel free to ask your translator but be aware that it may cost more and you will need to approve final edits before the translating begins!
- Can you supply the documents in the correct format? Like all translators, I do have a preferred method of working. Be aware of whether or not your translator prefers Word, Google Docs or other word processing platforms. If you are an Apple user, be sure to convert Pages files to the appropriate format before sending! If you are using an online cloud to share documents, be sure to edit the accessibility so your translator can view and edit the file accordingly.
- Who is your audience? Depending on the type of translation, there will need to be a certain format adopted or stylistic preferences that are necessary. Make sure you let your translator know who your audience is so they can tailor their work to them.
- Is this a one-off or a recurring project? Translators are accustomed to doing both, especially in the freelance world but let us know ahead of time if a job will be recurring. This helps us manage our time and we can even offer bulk pricing discounts for higher volume services.
- When do you need it by? Ah yes, the elusive deadline. It is crucial to give your translator a timeline of when you will need a project by and be sure to leave yourself enough to time to get a translated document where you need to. Sometimes (not often) hiccups happen so be sure to be generous with the turnaround time but also leave yourself some buffer space as well.
- Do you need it rushed? If you need a faster turnaround on a project or document than industry standards, you can ask for it. Be mindful that that might mean a translator rearranges their work schedule to accommodate you, pushing other projects (and their paydays) back. Don’t ask for a rush unless it is absolutely necessary and be aware that you may have a rush fee on top of the regular service charges.
- Is there any localized language in the text? Spanish is one of the most used languages in the world and it has countless local varieties. It is important to let your translator know which kind of vernacular Spanish (if any) you would like them to use. After all, words can have different meanings in Mexico City versus Guatemala, for example and if you want an accurate translation, this information is essential!
- Is there a standardized glossary I should be working from? Some fields have very specific terminologies that need to be respected and translators will need to know if field-specific glossaries exist before proceeding with a job!
Depending on the project, there could be plenty more questions but once a translator has everything they need, it’s all work until the document is done! Make sure you keep the lines of communication open and be as clear as possible about your needs to save you time in getting your translation on time, every time!