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How do you go about purchasing translation services, regardless of the language? What information should be communicated and preparations must be done? Here are our 5 tips and tricks to ensure the quality of the translation while benefiting from the best price!

Tip 1: Use a professional translation agency!

The only thing you’ll be reducing by choosing a stranger with particularly low rates is the quality! Your brand image is at stake, so choose a professional with a solid reputation; you won’t be disappointed!

Advice N°2: Choose a translator who is up to your speciality

Do you translate general information (practical life, health for the general public, social sciences, commerce)? No need for a legal expert, a good translator with a good command of the language pair (e. g. French – English or English – Spanish) will be perfect!

But if you need to translate technical documents in law, finance or economics, for example, choose a specialist. Concerning your official documents (birth certificates, civil status certificates, minutes, divorce decrees, adoption certificates, etc.), ask only for certified translations carried out by a translator sworn to the Court. This is the only way to maintain their legal value.

Tip 3: Specify how this translation will be used

Indeed, depending on whether the document is for internal use or widely distributed for commercial use, for example, the expected level of service must be adapted in order to offer you the best quality/price ratio for purchasing translation services.

For purchasing the proper translation services, indicate if you wish to:

  • – Provide a general understanding of the document (an e-mail, literature books). This may require translating only key ideas and messages, without the need to work particularly on the style or focus on the presentation.
  • – Deliver a document for internal use, which demands a good quality of translation.
  • – Deliver a document distributed externally (for example, for commercial use). The translation must be impeccable, both in content and in the proposed style.

Tip 4: Choose formats that are easy to use

Always favour easy to use files. You will save on management costs! It is easier for a translator to work on a Word file than on a locked pdf or website in which it will be necessary to navigate from page to page beforehand to capture content. So, before purchasing translation services, ask yourself if the proposed format can be simplified.

Tip 5: Prepare and consolidate your files

It is better to have a single file of 10,000 words than 5 separate files of 2000 words each.

Before purchasing translation services, it may be a good idea to combine your source texts into a single file. The translator will save time and you… money!

Bonus tip: How to break the language barrier when travelling?

Speaking proper English when working at a restaurant in Paris is a necessity, but it is not always so easy! And understanding French for an English or Spanish person travelling in France is often complicated.

To help us, pocket translators are on the rise!

This market for electronic translators is booming and includes SIGMO, which claims to translate 25 languages, and Vasco Traveler, which offers 29.

But, the most talked about is the little traveller designed by Logbar, a Japanese company, which won the innovation prize for its pocket translator, Ili, at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas in 2016. Supposedly soon to be available for sale, this small device you wear around the neck allows you to converse in two different languages in real time! Its current version allows the following languages to be translated: English, Chinese and Japanese. Its versions under development should soon include other languages including: English, Spanish, Italian, French, Thai, Korean, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese!

Perfect for conversation, instant translators (sold at FNAC or on the Internet) can also help us communicate with a customer service department to report a problem with a purchased product for example.

Be careful, however, to use them only for instant exchange without major risks (and not as a replacement to purchasing translation services!) because these automatic translations remain general and lack the subtleties essential to an accurate transcription. A good translation agency and a professional translator-interpreter cannot be replaced by these tools.