5 Helpful Tips for Translation Buyers

By Aritamba Bisansaba

We are living in the era where global communications have been indispensable for businesses and organizations. Businesses have been expanding their operations to other parts of the world where they speak different languages, in this case for a business to succeed in these areas they might need to deliver their message in a language that the target market can understand – hence the reason for buying translation. There might be so many reasons for buying translation, whatever the reasons are, translations buyers need to get it right. The following are 6 tips which are aimed at reducing stress and helping you get the most out of your translation budget.

1. What is the document for?

Before you start looking for a translator to translate your document, the first thing you will need to do is to identify the type of the document you need to translate and who are the intended audience. Knowing this in advance will help you figure out the skills and qualifications of the translator you need.

If your document is patient questionnaire then you will definitely need a translator who is specialized in translating medical documents or who has experience in that area. Because every document has its style of translation, the style for translating legal document the same cannot be used for translating medical documents.

As a translation buyer, you need to know this difference so that you can be sure you get the right and accurate translation.

2. How much is your budget?

Translation price varies from translator to translator or from location to location, or even language to language. The location which has a high cost of living the price tends to be higher compared to that which has a lower cost of living. For English into Swahili language pair the market price, according to Proz.com, is between US$ 0.07 – 0.12 per source word, but you can find translators selling their translations below that price.

And I can guarantee you that, if you will buy translation below the standard price you are unlikely to receive a text that does credit to your business and its products. In determining the cost of buying translation you need to be realistic. How many pages or words can a translator produce in an hour? How much time do you expect him or her to spend crafting the text that will promote your product or service?

When choosing a translation provider, you may need to find out how much you’ve spent developing the product or services you want to promote in a different country. The bottom line is you will need a professional translator if you think your document is that important to your business.


3. Finalize your material before sending to the translator.

You may need to have your text translated as quickly as possible but sending a draft text for translation will almost always be time-consuming – hence more expensive. Because, if the translator is a professional, he or she will keep asking questions on unclear parts – hence the back and forth process which will consume a lot of time and may lead to mistakes. All these could be avoided if the translator worked from the final version of the text.

4. When do you need the translation back?

Typically, a professional translator can handle up to 2500 words per day (translation and self-editing). So you need to be realistic with your turnaround time when recruiting a translator for your project. If you are trying to beat a very tight deadline and you need the translation on time, you can always have your translations accurately translated by a professional translator but this time you will have to pay a higher price because of the rush turnaround.

Determine your deadline and contact your translation provider and discuss how they can accommodate your deadline.

5. How about machine translation?

If you have a small document and you only want to get a gist of it for your own use, translation software may be useful. It is really fast and it won’t cost you a penny. But do not rely on a translation software to produce an accurate professional translation.

The translation software will only translate words in a phrase or sentence but it will fail to comprehend the structure, grammar, context and even the culture of that language. You might be smart enough to machine-translate your document and because you need perfect translation for cheap, you will then find a professional translator to edit it with the expectation that the final version will be perfect for less cost.

Although you may find a professional translator who will be willing to handle that task, not all translators will accept such assignments. Many insist texts generated by computer programs are so skewed that it’s faster to start from scratch. Post-editing machine-translated document, however, costs nearly the same price as what you would pay for translating from scratch.

If you are looking for professional language services, please feel free to request a free quote and we are always happy to serve you.

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