“I need a translation…”

How many times have we heard one of our clients say that? Though this simple phrase may be the first step towards a profitable and lasting working relationship, as professionals, we need to gather much more information from the client in order to properly do our jobs and ultimately provide the client with the highest quality product.

So, let’s go over some of the key questions:

1. Does the translation require certification?

If the translation requires certification, this will be itemized as a separate service with an additional charge, since a translator who is duly certified will translate and certify the document with the corresponding expenses.

2. Is the document a rush translation?

In order to provide quality translations, a minimum amount of time is required, considering the hustle and bustle of the business world today. However, many times the client may need the translation outside of working hours or over the weekend, which also may be added as an extra expense to the bill.

3. Does the file have any special formatting issues?

When the original document is sent in a special format (other than Word or Excel), or is a Website, the translation may require Desktop Publishing (DTP) or IT services to maintain the original format. Even when the original document is in Word or Excel, Desktop Publishing may still be required in order to preserve the image formats, business logos, numbering, bullets, etc.

4. Does the client have a glossary with their language preferences based on previous translations?

When a client frequently requires translations for recurrent subjects, they may have a glossary prepared for their language preferences, such as the translation of their logo, key words for business policies, etc. This glossary will be extremely useful so that all translations from the company maintain the same linguistic style.

5. Should the translation take into account any special cultural considerations?

Some clients may have translation preferences regarding the measurement system for a specific country, regardless of the target language for the translation. For example, a client may require a translation from English to Spanish but would like for the translated text to have the measurement system of the country where the document originated.

6. Is the language into which the document will be translated considered a “rare” language?

When a language is not spoken by a significant population, there are fewer translators available, which may be reflected in the delivery time and costs.

7. Does the document have reference material?

It is always helpful for the translators to have reference material while they work, or even previous translations in order to have a better idea of the company, its products and the business image that this company projects.