Tips For Working With A Translator
- Know exactly what you want. Know the format of the document you have (Word document, hard copy, fax of handwriting, etc) and have a rough idea of its contents (legal, birth certificate, military, etc.)
- Give an accurate estimate and description of the size of a job. Translators may have other job offers than yours. Accepting your job and then finding that it is 70% larger than you stated may mean you miss your deadline. Conversely, discovering that your job is 60% smaller than you stated after turning down other jobs in order to do yours will not make the translator eager to work with you again.
- Make sure you let the translator know about the quality of the original documents. Translating a Word document is very different from translating a smudged copy of a fax of sloppy handwriting.
- Communicate your deadline clearly.
- Allow adequate time. Especially on large projects, you need to give enough time for the translator to do a good job. A reasonable amount for a translator per day is 3000 words. With repetitive material, and long shifts, experienced translators may be able to do 5000-7000, but there is a limit to how many hours a day translators can work.
- Tell the translator about the audience for the translation.
- Be available for clarification in case the meaning of the text is unclear or illegible.
- Tell the translator whether you want 1) a flowing, natural translation of the meaning, or 2) a literal, word-for-word translation that may sound stilted but retains the "flavor" of the original, or 3) somewhere in between. Remember, idioms will not make sense when translated literally.