Are you looking for a translator but do you have no idea what to expect when you hire one for your translation job? Well, communication is key. Most translators already provide much information on their website but you may still have some questions. You may be surprised but there are also questions your translator may ask you!
There are quite a few blogs on the world wide web that discuss the questions that you should ask your translator so in this blog, you will find four questions your translator may ask you. If you want to establish clear communication (and make the translator’s life easier), you can already address these questions in your first email to the translator.
Questions your translator may ask you – no.1: Can you send me the text?
This may sound like a very odd question but you would not believe how many people send me a message describing the translation job in one or two lines and then ask: “So, what will it cost me and when can you have it ready?”
The answer is that it is impossible to say. Most translators work with a rate per word but even the translators with an hourly rate cannot answer this question. Without actually having the text, you can never estimate the amount of work and, therefore, the final price and deadline.
Other factors are also considered when stating your price. Some translators calculate the final price using the text to be translated and other translators use the final translation. The technical difficulty of the text could also influence the price (and deadline!) as a surcharge may apply. Alternatively, the translator could say the text is too complex for one’s expertise and recommend another translator.
I understand that some texts are confidential and can only be sent to the one translator chosen for the job. I can also understand that you are simply requesting some general information before your text is ready. In those cases, please expect general information only and do not be surprised when things might be a little different when you send in the text for a quotation.
Questions your translator may ask you – no.2: When is the deadline?
I receive many messages without a specific (or even a general) deadline in it. It is convenient to know each other’s expectations from the start. You may want your translation back in one or two days. You may have no specific deadline in mind and find it okay to wait a while. Even in the latter (very flexible) case, what ‘a while’ means to you might mean something different to me.
Therefore, please state your expectations immediately in your first message. Do you have an urgent translation job? That means I have to dive into my schedule and see if I can move some jobs and other tasks around. If not, does my schedule allow me to offer you a deadline of a day or two later instead? Do you have a flexible translation job? That means I have to dive into my schedule to see when the first possible starting date is and whether that date matches your flexibility.
If you do not state your expectations immediately, we might be missing out on the opportunity of a great collaboration. For instance, I might offer you a date that is way too late for you. However, if you had told me beforehand that you need it back in two days, I would have had the chance to see if I can fit in an urgent job and ask a surcharge for it. After all, we all like starting out planning our workdays with normal work pressure, do we not?
Questions your translator may ask you – no.3: What is the target audience of the text?
Some texts may speak for themselves and sometimes, you describe the job with a few lines, so we can already tell the answer. Still, we may ask you for a clarification. After all, different target audiences require different tones of voice and use of language. You have written that text with a clear image of the perfect reader in mind and we only want to help you establish that same relationship with your perfect reader in the other language as well.
Questions your translator may ask you – no.4: Can you use this specific file type?
You may send in a text in a specific type of file but not all translators can work with all file types. We all have different tools and software; some translation agencies can only work with common file types like Word and other translation agencies can work with every file imaginable. You will probably find the scope of this service reflected in the translation rates as well. Therefore, make sure you find the translator (or file type converter) that suits you.
Read more: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Translator?