Sarah Marshall

Translation from Spanish and Catalan into English

Proofreading and Editing of English Texts


How Clients and Translators Can Prepare for a Project

What Translators Need to Know Beforehand

Clients receive a better service and more accurate translation when the translator has a global picture of the project

In order to help translators provide an accurate quote and deadline, clients can help by providing the following information:

  • Who the piece is for – publisher and target audience.

  • The zone of distribution - region, countries, etc. - for a localised translation.

  • The length of the piece in words and/or pages.

  • The format in which the piece is required (Word, pdf, etc.).

  • Any specific conventions to be followed in spelling, terminology, etc.

  • The deadline for delivery – including any agreed interval deliveries.

  • Whether editors will check the work.
  • Who the main contact for the project is.

  • If the translator should query aspects during or at the end of the project.

  • The terms of payment – amount and date.

For their part, the translator should consider the following before accepting a project:

  • Length.

  • Difficulty – technical terms and expressions particular to a topic.

  • Knowledge – research time for unfamiliar or specialist subjects.

  • Format – the layout will affect the speed of the translation.

  • Personal translation rate – words per hour (with and without research).

  • Timeframe – availability and calculation of schedule to deliver on time.

  • Payment conditions – the rate per word (and consequently per hour).
Sharing and negotiating these aspects at the start of the project saves time and avoids misunderstandings 

The translator should plan their time and consider possible areas of confusion in the text before starting the project. During the project, they should clarify any doubts as soon as they arise to prevent any nasty surprises for the clients. 

To this end, the client should provide a single point of contact, who is available to the translator to answer queries. It helps if it is the same person who discussed the terms so that there is continuity.

The translator should only accept projects they know they can translate within the deadline with a high standard of work. 

Satisfied clients and a good reputation are the marks of a professional translator.


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