When you’re looking for good translators, what you really desire is quality translation. A good quality translation happens when the reader doesn’t know she’s reading a translated piece. It should read like the original.
Translation quality depends on these principles:
You may have read that professional translators can typically handle 2,500 words per day but it also depends on the complexity or format of the document right down to the personal capacity of the translator.
Note that good translators are very much in demand and their popularity means they often handle translation work from several customers at a time.
Bearing in mind these circumstances, expect no more than 1,500 words per day.
As we’re human translators and not machines, errors tend to manifest if we overwork ourselves!
To ensure quality output and preserve sanity, I’m upfront about my daily output of 1,500 words daily.
My work is done during business hours from Monday to Friday (except if there’s an urgent job). Sufficient rest is crucial in ensuring good quality work and I hope you agree!
Area of specialisation
It is wrong to force a translation job onto translators before they’ve even seen the source text.
I’ve always asked to see the source text to determine if the job is within my area of expertise. I am a specialist in education and business texts but I do not accept medical or pharmaceutical translation work as this is not my specialty area.
I handle translation for business/human resource/marketing/finance/back-end documents because I have worked for 7 years in these fields. I also handle psychology documents because I have a degree in Psychology. I handle e-learning/academic/tourism-related documents because of my experience in these areas. I am also happy to translate safety/security related documents because this was the area I received the most work in when I started in 2008.
Research & proofing
Translating is just part of the process of translation. Depending on the project and your requirements, I usually handle terminology preparation and consistency checking, as well as employ a second translator to review, edit and proofread.
Technology has been a godsend to us in the translation industry.
Besides using dictionaries and online resources, I employ state-of-the-art translation software tools to handle terminology and ensure translation consistency.
My translation memory tool chunks the source text into segments or sentences so I don’t miss a sentence or paragraph (which can happen, unfortunately). It is also useful in detecting exact matches between previously translated string and a new string. When it does so, it brings up recommendations which a translator like myself can accept or reject. Using technology improves consistency, reduces errors and avoids redundancy.
Errors are the bane of translators so translators incorporate 2 special and expensive QA methods in the translation world – back-translation and the use of test readers.
Using a test reader might not be applicable since I don’t handle medical translation.
But I do use back translation for technical translations. This is why the rate is higher for technical documents and the time taken is a lot longer!
Know your audience and goals
Some texts are translated to inform while others are translated to persuade. The translation must be honed for the right goals and needs.
As translators, we need to determine that the right language register or language style is used because we’re essentially translating for your target audience.
When I work with you, I need you to provide me background information (how it will be used, who the audience is and most importantly, the purpose of the text).
For instance, if we’re working on a website translation or mobile app translation, let me know how the target text will be used on the actual website or app.
Knowing how the translated words are used helps me do a much better job for you instead of just translating mere words on a spreadsheet.
To ensure the highest levels of quality control, I will enlist additional help (without additional costs to you) to review your document. As my client, I want you to have full confidence that the translation is accurate and professional, particularly for business and academia.
Plus the advantages of working with me – you will not be charged project management fees and overhead fees. Ready to work with me?