Purchasing a translation for the first time can be confusing if you do not know anything about the process, as there is a wide array of factors to keep in mind before beginning a translation. For this reason, it is important for clients to define their priorities or needs (quality, time, or cost) beforehand.
Let me begin by saying that three eyes see better than one. Indeed, it is highly recommended that a three-step service be purchased—while it is often the most expensive option, it is worth it—rather than purchasing a translation from a single translator. Many companies offer this three-step service, that is, TEP: Translation, Editing, and Proofreading.
A good piece of advice that I offer to clients is that they should allow a similar amount of time to complete the translation as they would to write the original text, because what we as translators do is, essentially, re-write that document.
What level of quality do they need? Sometimes the document to be translated is destined to the general public, whereas other times it is just for internal business use (and not even employees will read it). In this latter case, the client would indicate that the translation is just to have an idea about what the document says, and just the translation step would be enough.
In all honesty, one saves a lot of time in meetings, calls, and errands by purchasing a three-step translation, as this way the document is reviewed by three different people, assuring that the text is translated as best as possible. Depending on your budget, a bad translation can end up being quite expensive.
It is important to keep in mind the amount of time that your team has allocated to writing the document. The translator will also need time to research, read, and write the text in order to offer the client the highest quality service and meet their expectations.
Doing so is not as easy as it may appear. Translators involved in the process must carry out several activities, such as reading the text before translating it in order to have an idea about its subject and the style of the writing; research the subject; and often times create a draft version and review it, edit it, and incorporate changes to it before completing the translation.
Having translators, editors, and proofreaders carry out all of these steps will guarantee you, as a client, a translation that meets your expectations and that will position your business well in any part of the world.
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