Dear translation agency: I have some questions for you!

When you accept a project or work with a new translation agency, some issues often pop up regarding the working methods and the translation to be completed.

When you accept a project or work with a new translation agency, some issues often pop up regarding the working methods and the translation to be completed. Without becoming overzealous, a healthy and just verification of some professional points will avoid any inconveniences when starting the translation but also establish clear communication without misunderstandings with the translation agency. Caution will bear fruits for the quality of the translation because a relaxed translator will produce better translations!

Negotiating with a translation agency

The world of translation being a liberal market like any other, this jungle of languages and words is governed by a code of professional practice, a rate regulation to which we are all subject, service providers, translation agencies and freelance and held accountable. Of course, official rates are only provided as a guide,

it is important to watch the pair of languages in question, the specialization, the volume, the requested delivery date, in other words so many criteria that are so varied and subjective but which will result in settling a specific tariff that is accepted by both parties.

Do not hesitate to discuss rates of repetition and the famous “matches”.

Best to avoid than mistranslate

Whatever it is, beyond the currency and method of payment, by trying to communicate a timeline of regulations to your translation agency, it will only protect yourself, especially if it is not an urgent translation. For example, 50% of the payment before beginning the translation and 50% upon final delivery of the translation. This clause will prevent the unpleasant surprise of the “non-payment” syndrome when claiming the final payment. In addition, your accounting records will be more transparent.

This can pass for a small detail but do not forget to ask the project manager for the archive format. Indeed, some translation tools are not suitable, nor compatible with some operating formats (Excel, Access). If you are not really a computer expert, open the document, if it has been compressed with an unknown program, it will light your screen up with South Korean profanity in a brightly colored font!

The winning pair: When and with whom?

Do not hesitate to offer split deliveries, especially if the translation project is large. This clause will prove your service’s concern and reassure at the same time the customer in the face of a clear and sequenced delivery schedule. In addition, it will allow you to more easily organize your work time.

Another important point: Always ask the translation agency if there is a qualified person to refer to in case of doubt on certain segments of the translation. This will avoid you feeling alone in front of your computer and avoid any rough translation.

Once all these points are clarified, you can officially sit in front of your computer, open your translation software and start working. Good translation!

Translation into English: Chloe Findlay

This article has been written by Clément Beury

Clément Beury is a freelance translator, who achieved his degree in Tours (France). After having the opportunity to further his professional development in the United States, he came to La Plata (Argentina) and became a university lecturer of French as a Foreign Language.