Are translators needed in the industry?
Seven tips for good translations
1. Plan enough time
Remember that good translations don't come overnight. Even if translations into common languages such as English, Spanish or French go faster, the work with the first translation is usually not done. It should therefore be at least two weeks for each translation. If you set up your own translation management in your company, you should make sure that the capacities are distributed according to the importance of the translation. Urgent translations are also associated with an express surcharge for companies. You should therefore order a translation in good time.
2. Set the language
For which country do you need the translation? Clarify with the translator which variant of a language you need. For example, an English translation for the UK is not the same as an English translation for the US. This is all the more true for less common languages such as Chinese or Indian, where there are often several forms.
3. Clarify the billing mode and scope
When you get a quote from a freelance translator, it is best to send them the text you want to translate. You can bill by line (German model), by words (Anglo-American model), as well as flat-rate. A line is calculated with 55 characters (including spaces).
There is no fixed tariff system in the industry. A Remuneration Act (JVEG) regulates the fee only for interpreters and translators who work for the judiciary. For one line of translation this is 1.55 euros per line. For texts that are not made available electronically, the fee increases to 1.75 euros. The BDÜ publishes a table of fees every two years.
For simple translations, a line price between 1.20 and 1.50 euros must be calculated. The page price therefore starts at around 50 euros. Make sure to clarify what is to be translated. Often other papers or tables are stored in documents and it is unclear whether these documents also need to be translated.
4. Obtain references
With many translations, the translator's language skills alone are not enough to ensure that the quality is good in the end. Technical expertise is also required for manuals, contracts or technical documentation. Certain expressions in the legal area are sometimes always explained in more detail by means of footnotes. In such cases, you should therefore choose a translator with references in the relevant industry who is also familiar with the relevant industry standards.
5. Ensure the "four-eyes principle"
If it is a question of the translation of a contract or a publication, you should commission a translation according to the "four eyes principle". This means that at least one second person will proofread the first translation. In addition to the technical translation, another translator can revise the text for stylistic and promotional statements, for example.
Even if you carry out the translation in your own company, you should definitely not do without it. Often the critical second look can come from an employee of the national company. He can also point out possible pitfalls in texts that have already been translated. If the translation is carried out by an external translator, in many cases your “main translator”, who acts as the first contact person, will coordinate with a second translator.
6. Check the translator's professional addition
If you need a certified translation, you need a language expert who bears a professional suffix such as “authorized”, “sworn” or - depending on the federal state - “publicly appointed”. If necessary, have the relevant documents provide evidence of this addition. The BDÜ has an overview of these translators. You confirm the completeness and correctness of the translation with your signature and stamp.
7. Deliver final versions
The translator would like to have the fully coordinated text. Ideally, this text corresponds to the final document without the company making any subsequent changes. Make sure that you do not make any major adjustments to the text to be translated afterwards. Otherwise, additional costs arise or a new correction loop is necessary because the layout may also have to be adjusted again. In any case, this is inevitable for languages that are read from right to left.
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