What documents and information should I send to get a quote?
The definitive version of the text to be translated or proofread, reference documents, the deadline for delivery and, possibly, your budget.
What does the quoted rate depend on?
Basically the level of complexity of the source text, the stated deadline, the total volume, the format of the source file and whether or not there are any reference documents.
Remember that like any other freelancer, translators pay social contributions, take a few weeks’ (unpaid) leave, buy various items of software, dictionaries, etc. and regularly attend training courses to ensure a continuing high level of quality in their work.
What is the translator’s role?
Good translators do not simply translate: they also advise.
To keep within your budget, might it be wiser to translate a ten-page summary rather than the whole 100 pages of your report?
Good translators also ask questions and make comments: does your source text contain ambiguous or badly formulated sections that need first of all to be clarified?
How can the customer contribute to the translator’s task?
Customers play a vital role in the translation process. The more information you supply, the more the translation will meet your expectations.
Who is the translated document for, are there translations of previous versions, is there a predefined terminology list or reference documents, who can the translator address questions to, which format should be used for the bibliography? Allowing sufficient time will also be highly beneficial for the quality of the translation!
How do I choose the right translator?
Look for professional translators (that is, people who make a living from translating) with a profile that corresponds to the work in hand: a legal translator is rarely qualified to do sociology translations.
Ask for two or three quotes to compare offers and assure yourself of the professionalism of the translators you have contacted. If you speak the “target” language, why not ask the translators you have preselected to do a test translation (one or two carefully chosen paragraphs)?
Why have a text written by a French native speaker proofread?
Simply because people do not necessarily have a perfect command of their native language.
Quite apart from spelling, grammar and style, a proofreader has an outsider’s view which can be very useful when honing a text.
Are the translations always proofread by a second translator?
Ideally, translations should always be reread by a second translator or a proofreader.
Customers’ budgets do not always permit it, but it is a strongly recommended supplementary service.
If you opt for proofreading, it will figure in your quote and the translator will use the services of a trusted colleague with whom he or she regularly works.