Whether you’re a freelancer or from an agency, it is very important to be sure you’re completely prepared before starting any job, of course. But just in case you’re still confused about which things you should have set before starting, let me share my checklist for handling translation jobs with you:
1. Identify the language pair needed for translation – more than merely knowing the target language, which oftentimes is the one you speak, it’s important to be aware that sometimes the source language is not always ‘English.’ If you’re an agency, make sure that you have the right translators for the job before even accepting a project.
2. Know the topic of the source and the target reader – it is not enough to be proficient in the language, youshould also be knowledgeable about the topic you are trying to translate, otherwise, you could end up mistranslating jargon and and be unable to disseminate the message in itsproper context. Having the ability to identify the target reader is also important as this will help you gauge the document’s tone or level of formality.
3.Find out which tools are needed in translating – getting into the translation business doesn’t mean you’ll only need your pc and that you know how to speak the language. Some translation projects require more than your typical word processing software,you may also have to know how to use different computer-aided tools for translation that clients may require in order to properly format the translated file.
4.It always pays to ask if there are style guides or glossaries you can use – as with the tone and the level of formality, the client may already have an idea on how they want their translated file to sound like. So, it pays if you ask your client if they have an existing glossary of terms they want used a specific way, or list of terms to they want retained in the source language.
5.Double check the word count – double-check the project’s exact word count so you can assess your capacity for handling the task within the given time.
6.Check if there are additional instructions – find out about any additional requests the client may have so you may apply them on the file as you go along.
7.Check the deadline and make sure you agree only if you think it is feasible – do not overpromise. One thing that clients hate the most is to be left in dark, so make a conservative and honest assessment and then inform the client right away if you will be able to handle the task.
8.Proofread your file – sure you’re tasked to translate, but it won’t hurt to reread the whole file for obvious spelling errors, mistranslations, missed translations or even deleted words.Be aware that a lot of clients get third party editors to go through the file, and nothing is worse than being called out for errors that any kid could have easily avoided.
9.Send your files on time – This practically goes without saying. However, if you do find that you may need an extension for some reason, let your client know right away. You should always keep the client up to date in case there are issues that may cause any delay.
10.Ask for feedback – this means you want to know what the client thinks of your work, and shows that you are interested in improving your craft.
These are just some of the most important things I keep track of to make sure that I am able to work on my assigned translation work meticulously, and deliver the finished product on time and in a level of quality that I know I can be proud of.
I hope my list helps you do the same! Good luck!Read More