Basic Aspects That A Translation Buyer Must Be Familiar With

When a company uses a language services provider, it can have various needs, but here I want to focus on translation services.

Companies that hire this type of service for the first time for the first time, generally, are a little lost since they might not know exactly in what format they should provide the documents, how long the job will take, what the fee is in the industry for the pair or pairs of languages ​​needed, etc. Therefore, with a few posts, I am going to address these essential aspects that a translation buyer must take into account when hiring this type of service.

Initial indications on the text to be translated

One “mistake” that occurs most often in companies that hire a translation service for the first time is the lack of instructions on the document being translated.

What does this mean? Translating a text, in addition to changing what is said in the original file to content in a different language, also includes adapting to the target language and its rules for high-quality typographical work. Let me give a concrete example of this idea with the English-Spanish language pair.

As we all know English tends to use capital letters more frequently than many languages, including Spanish. Spanish rules are quite concise about when and when not to use them. Therefore, if there are no instructions in this regard from the buyer, anyone translating into Spanish will follow the relevant rules from the Royal Spanish Academy. Thus, it is normal for a text that is full of capital letters in English to have approximately 90% of these capital letters made lowercase in the translation into Spanish, and this is absolutely correct considering the rules of Spanish.

It is also common that the customer wants to use terminology specific to their document but they do not realize this until they receive the translation and see that the terms used, though correct, are not what they expected. For example, there are regional differences of “ordenador”, “equipo” or “computadora”, among others, when translating the word “computer”. Obviously, this situation is not a translation error but customer preference and, as already discussed in another post in this blog, preferences are part of the normal translation process and not cause of reductions in the fee.

Therefore, the customer who buys a translation service should be clear about the details or aspects of the translation and must explain them before carrying out the work. Whether they want certain words highlighted and, therefore, would like to respect the use of capitals in the original, or because their company always uses a specific terminology for certain words, it is essential to clarify these issues before hiring the translation.

It is true that a good salesperson will ask such questions with a first-time client, but it never hurts to discuss what service you will receive to avoid surprises and unexpected additional costs.

In future posts I will continue to talk about the importance of any reference material that the client can offer.

(Versión en español: