Are you new to the translation process? Are you looking for a step-by-step guide to translating your documents?

We understand that getting started on a language project can feel like a daunting task. That’s why we’ve prepared some simple questions for you to help you gather the information you need for your upcoming language project.

Gather the following project information:

1. Language and Audience

Ideally, you should already know which language you want to translate into.

Why is that important? – This may sound obvious, but let’s take a look

an example: You have an English document in your hands and want to have it translated into Spanish. There are many variations of the Spanish language: American übersetzer spanisch, Mexican Spanish, Argentine Spanish, Latin American or Iberian Spanish, etc.

Second, inform the translation agency about the purpose of the document and its intended audience . Why is this important? – For example, if it is an advertisement or a marketing document, it needs to be transcreated, not translated, and this process requires specific skills and a translator with experience in that specific field.

2. Format

You should also know what type of document you want to have translated. “PDF” isn’t really the answer we’re looking for here! A PDF file can be created from different file types. So if you can provide detailed information about the original file format, it will be easier to create the offer. Format information like Word document, Powerpoint , scanned document or maybe InDesign . If possible, include a sample or the entire project when emailing your request for quotation.

Why is it important? – Your files may need to be prepared (before and after translation) by the desktop publishing team, which will affect the final offer. Very often formatting is required after translation as translated Spanish text takes up about 25% more space than the English version. Your translation agency should be able to do that for you!

3. size

It is important that the translator has an accurate idea of the length of your project in words. Don’t worry if you don’t have it. Just send the original documents to your agency and they will count the words for you.

Why is it important? – Most translation projects are offered per word. So a 50-page, 3000-word PowerPoint presentation costs the same as a 2-page, 3000-word Word document.

Note that the final offer may differ depending on the time it takes the designers to prepare and present the final versions to ensure the same look on both versions.

4. Deadline

Ideally, you know your schedule and can estimate when you will need the translated documents. Your translator can advise if this is possible within your timeframe.

Why is it important? – When the translation is done by human linguists (as opposed to machine translation), they translate an average of 3,000 words per day. This of course depends on the complexity of the original file, but then the files are reviewed by a separate linguist for revision and/or proofreading. So you need to keep this in mind when preparing some translation projects.

Using translation memories allows multiple translators to work on the same project at the same time, but ideally it’s better to keep this number to a minimum to ensure consistency and overall flow of the translated text.

5. Additional Information

If possible, also collect any supporting materials related to your project, such as photos, tables, graphics, and logos.

Why is it important? – If your document contains images with text, the designers need the originals to be able to replace the text in one language and replace it with its translation. Once this is done for all images, they will be reinserted into the final translated document.

You must also forward your company’s translation memories or glossaries, if you have any. Why is it important? – Nowadays translators use specific translation tools like translation memories and other software to help them in their work. It allows them to create a memory for similar projects from the same clients, which not only improves quality and overall consistency, but also reduces translation turnaround times , especially for technical translations. The memory, property of the customer, is then passed on to the customer at the moment of final delivery.

All these points will help your translation manager to better understand the scope of your project and better serve you and your business!

6. Contact your translation agency

The next step is to contact your translation agency and speak to a project manager. If this is your first contact with the translation company, you will be assigned a project  übersetzer spanisch deutsch manager who will deal directly with all your future projects.

The project manager should ask you all of the above questions to evaluate your project. Depending on the deadlines, size and complexity of the original documents, the project manager should provide you with a quote for the job and an estimated delivery date.

7. Evaluate the offer

This last step is actually the easiest and probably the most important. You have to decide whether or not you want to accept your translation offer.

This certainly depends on 3 factors: quality – price – speed:

  1. Are you satisfied with the handling of your primary request?
  2. Did they respond quickly to your emails?
  3. Does the offer fit your budget?
  4. Does the date fit into your project?
  5. Does the translation agency have client references on their website or company profile?
  6. Are they ISO certified?
  7. Do they offer revision and/or proofreading by a separate linguist in their standard plan?

Once you have made a decision, your agency staff will guide you through the final partial translation process, making sure you are familiar with all the steps up to the final delivery of your files and receipt of your invoice.