This is going to be a very practical text which, as we hope, will facilitate our cooperation with clients. It should prove useful to other translators as well: feel free to use it as a checklist enumerating the particular stages of placing an order for translation and carrying it out, as well as our translator’s brief. And there’s a nice surprise at the end!
Well then, let’s get straight to the point. How to place an order for translation? What are the particular steps leading to its completion? At Translatorion, the process is divided into the following stages:
- Contact us – you can send us an email or use the contact form on our website. You can also call us or drop us a line via Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
- It would be great if you began by sending us the file to be translated so that we could give you the initial quote. Your first message should also include all the order details that we are going to mention below.
- Let us know if there is a tight deadline for the translation or perhaps there is no hurry in completing it.
- When we receive all that information, we are able to give you a quotation for the order and now it is your turn to accept it.
- Next, both sides confirm the order in writing, via email.
- If the file to be translated has not been sent yet, this is the last moment to do it. However, it is best to send it at the initial stage.
- We are very happy if clients send us some additional reference materials that can help us in translation. This way, we can make sure the text is compatible with other documents belonging to the client – we are going to go back to this topic in a moment. We also covered it briefly in this text.
- Let’s get the job done! At this stage, we translate the text, which is then proofread twice (check + revision). You can find out more about the process of translation in this article.
- Then, we send the text back to you. It is quite likely that you will find a lot of comments and questions from us in the file (in the case of Microsoft Office documents, or similar, you will see them in the Track Changes mode; in the case of other file types, we will include our comments and questions in the email). Why do we ask so many questions? Source texts are often ambiguous, there may be some errors or inconsistencies in them, we also have some occasional doubts concerning terminology, style, or subject matter. Some crucial linguistic decisions must be taken by the client with our assistance. The questions may arise in the course of our work – the goal of all those inquiries is to make the target text as good as possible.
- After receiving your replies to our questions and comments and clarifying all the problematic issues, we will introduce all the possible changes and send you the final version of the translated text.
- There are only three steps left now: the client’s acceptance of the text, the invoice, and the payment.
In Point 2., we have mentioned order details that are important to translators. What are those? You probably know what a brief is – this term is often used in graphic design, when the client sends a list of requirements and instructions regarding the project so that the result is in line with his or her expectations. Translators need a brief as well!
What kind of information should be included in your email to the translator?
What kind of information is important for us before we start translating?
What kind of information will streamline our translation project and ensure the best quality of the target text?
- Do you need a regular or certified translator?
We are not sworn translators so if you let us know exactly what you need, we will be able to inform you at once what kind of translation is possible.
- What is the language of the source text? What is the target language you need?
At Translatorion, we translate the following language combinations: English – Polish, Polish – English, Spanish – Polish, Spanish – English.
- If you need to translate a Polish text into English, do you prefer British or American English?
Our default English is British – this is what you will receive if you do not specify the language version or if you do not have any preference.
- What is the format of the source text?
The most translator-friendly formats are simple texts (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt, .txt). PDFs, photos, or others are also fine but they will require more work and that may increase the price of the translation.
- What format of the target text do you need?
Is it supposed to be in the same format as the source text or a different one?
- How many characters or words are there in the source text?
You can find this information in your text file or simply send us the text file to be translated and we will check how long it is. To understand better why A4 is not a reliable measurement in translation, read this text on our blog.
- What is the precise scope of the translation?
Do you want the whole text to be translated or perhaps some particular fragments or pages? Do you want us to translate the text in the charts and graphic elements?
- What is the maximum deadline for the text?
This information will help us assess if we are able to complete the order for you and to incorporate it into our schedule.
- Is that the final version of the text or are you going to introduce some changes?
To be honest, it is best to send the final version of the source text: this way, translation will be both quicker and cheaper than if some random changes are introduced chaotically in the course of our work.
- What is the subject matter of the text?
Make sure you give us as much information about that as possible. It may turn out that we do not deal with that subject or that the text is so specialised that it requires much more time to be translated. If you send us the source file in the first email, we can evaluate the level of difficulty and specialisation at once.
- What is the purpose of the text?
This is probably the most important piece of information, because context is what matters most in translation. We need to know what the goal of the translation is, who the target audience will be, where it will be used, and what your expectations concerning its function and form are.
- Should the target text have a special register or style, other than the tone of the source text?
Normally, translation is meant to recreate the style of the source text. However, there are situations where this is not the case, so we must establish that at the very beginning. Do you need your text to be transcreated or localised, which requires a higher level of adaptation than standard translation? Do you need to transform an ordinary text into a marketing one or a scientific article into popular science? Do you need a translation along with a summary?
- Can you send us some additional reference materials?
This is what we referred to earlier in the text – we will be happy to receive any company glossaries and terminology resources, previous translations of similar texts, or other materials about the subject matter of the translation which are not commonly available. If you can give us access to such data, we will be able to achieve the best coherence, cohesion, and quality of the translation.
- Is there any other information related to the text that can help us or you think we should be aware of?
Translation is like investigation: anything connected with the text may turn out to be relevant. 😊