Submitting a request – what does the translation agency need to know?

Submitting a request – what does the translation agency need to know?

When you submit a text for translation, the translation agency will need a fair amount of information from you, the customer. The more background information you can provide, the better the translation will be.

Published 6/29/2015

There’s not just one way of translating a certain text. In fact, the opposite is true: the number of possible translations is almost infinite. The text is affected by factors such as the choice of words, style, tone, need and perspective. As a customer, it’s worth ensuring that you are prepared.

The most common questions we tend to ask

  • What is the purpose of the text? (Selling, entertaining, informing, etc.)
  • Who will read the text? (Children, adults, police officers, doctors, employees, customers, etc.)
  • Where will the text be read? (On public transport, on your intranet, etc.)
  • How will the text be presented? (On a poster, as a website, in connection with a TV ad, etc.)
  • What should the reader do, know or feel after having read the text?
  • Is there anything that shouldn’t be translated, such as product names, industry terms or social concepts?
  • Do you have any reference materials about e.g. the company, the products or the subject area?
  • Do you have any glossaries or maybe a style guide?
  • Are original files available? Providing the translation agency with an original file instead of a PDF, for example, will save you both time and money, since an original file requires considerably less work.

If you can provide this information, the translation agency will be able to give you a fair and realistic quotation. When comparing quotations from different agencies, find out what exactly is included in their prices. There can be significant price differences in the end!

When you send a text for translation, make sure the agency knows if it is not the final version. Making changes to a translation if the original text is updated will involve extra work for the translator, and this can result in unnecessary added costs for you. You should also ensure that you explain when the translation needs to be ready – and especially what “ready” means to you. Will the text be sent for publication that same day, or will you need time to read through the text and give any feedback?

Any background information you provide with your request will be useful for the translation work. You can also help after the translator has started working on the text – see our three most important pieces of advice in this post.

Do you have any other useful tips? Please share them in the comments field below!