A guide to presenting documents for translation

  • If possible, submit your document digitally as a Word file. Having the document on the computer enables the translator to see the original and the translation in parallel windows on the computer screen. This boosts productivity.
  • Make sure the original text is clear and well structured. Amendments and alterations at a later stage cause delays, lead to unnecessary additional expense and increase the risk of error. A good original makes for a good translation.
  • Plan ahead when you have long documents to translate. As a general rule, an experienced professional translator can translate about 2500 words per day. Of course, output depends on the kind of text. For example, a complex legal procedure will generally require more time than a simple instruction manual.
  • Many companies have in-house glossaries of the technical terms, terminology and abbreviations used in their particular field. Sending these lists together with the document you want translated will help the translator work faster and more accurately and will save you money.
  • Translators are not copywriters. They do not improve the original, they translate exactly what it says. Have you any special requirements for your document? For example, a particular tone or register? Or would you like the translator to revise the document? Let us know in advance.
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