How to Contract Translation Services. What do I need to know?

Lots of people come to us wondering how to contract translation services. As you’d expect! And on many occasions, they don’t know anything about the translation workflow, deadlines, or translation fees. Which is normal, nobody is born such a knowledge!

When you consider hiring translation services from a translation company, it’s best to discuss and agree on certain things, so that the translation process is as streamlined and organised as possible. Therefore, here you have some FAQs that will help you get the best translation service possible.

How long will my translation take?

Every translation project is unique, and requires different amounts of time. Translating a legal text is not the same as translating a press release. Similarly, each language combination is different to the next. When you are looking for translation services, it is best that you lay out when you need it by.

A ballpark figure? We usually aim for 1,200 words a day when translating a text into a European language, with a general theme.


Who am I targeting?

This is something a lot of people forget when they want to contract translation services. We translate to communicate, right? And when communicating, there is always an audience we are targeting. Remember: requesting a translation = requesting a message. And every message has a recipient! Ask yourself:

  • What country am I mostly targeting? The Spanish used in Spain is not the same as that used in Mexico, Portuguese in Brazil is different to that in Portugal… Let your translation agency know where you are aiming for!
  • What is my target audience?If you want your translation to be effective, tell us what demographic you are targeting, and the message will be tailored to them! Are they children or adults? What are their interests? You should probably have the answers beforehand. Just give these details to us when asking for a translation quote!
  • Where will your text be published? This is important and is often forgotten even by translation companies. What’s the locale related to your text? If you don’t want your translation to be cultural inappropriate have this in mind.


Translation services or a different multilingual communication service?

Many people request translation services, but in fact they need different multilingual communication services. These are the most common multilingual communication services:

  • Proofreading . When the client already knows the languageand has the texts translated to an extent. But be careful with this! Sometimes we are given texts that are of really poor quality, which means we can’t give an estimate for proofreading.They should be translated from scratch.
  • Sworn Translation. Does your document need to be legally binding?If so, look for sworn translation services!
  • Multilingual SEO Translation. If you are aimed at having a SEO-friendly translation, by having your website content translated is not enough.
  • Transcreation: A transcreation is a mix of copywriting and translation, usually of marketing content, which has been adapted to the new culture, giving the translator more creative freedom, and is not always 100% faithful to the original and follows a brief.


Brief before you contract translation services

The answers to these questions are not just for yourself! You also need to tell us about them all. We work better when we are given a proper brief. We will always work hard for you, but if you do a little bit of homework, your translations services will be much more effective.

Remember to ask yourself ‘where’, ‘for whom’ and ‘for what reason’ is your text aimed. Then we will be able to create the most suitable quote for hiring translation services.

Do you need to communicate with your international clients, but are not sure what translation service you need? Take a look at our website, and you will find out everything we can do for you.

About the author

Oscar Nogueras

Es el CEO de Ontranslation y dedica algunos ratos libres a escribir en este blog para compartir sus conocimientos sobre internacionalización, cross-border ecommerce y Traducción SEO. No es para menos, ya que entre su formación cuenta con una licenciatura en filología inglesa, un máster en tradumática, un posgrado en elearning y un MBA. En definitiva, una declaración de intenciones donde la cultura y los idiomas se sirven mezclados, no agitados.

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