Five Ways to Be a Good Client for Your Translator

Ever wonder what differentiates preferred clients from less-preferred clients? We’ve got a few suggestions to position you on the preferred end of the client spectrum!

1. Give Context. The More, the Better.

Help your translator help you by providing them with everything they might need to know and more. This can include any of the following elements:

  • Your brand’s style guide, or examples of previous work
  • Any other translated material
  • A list of terms you use (glossary, corporate terminology, abbreviations specific to your Company)
  • Information about your audience and how you to speak to them:
    • Who is the target reader?
    • What do they want to know?
    • Are you formal or informal in your communications?
    • What is your goal with this material?
  • The more context your translator has, the better they can ensure that they meet your and your readers’ needs.

2. Understand Pricing and Timelines, and Respect Both.

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyways: experienced translators have set rates that should be respected. Expecting bottom-of-the-barrel prices for top-notch work will not get you on the favourite-client list.

When you and your translator agree on a timeline, don’t get back in touch a few days later asking to move things up, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Your translator likely has a lot on the go and may be juggling multiple projects, and they’ll set their priorities as needed. Also key to being a good client? Be flexible. If something comes up and your translator asks for a timeline change, trust them. They almost always have a good reason.

Pro tip: Remember that your translator may be in touch with clarification questions. Being open to questions helps smooth the process and saves time in the long run. Allow for a round of back-and-forth discussions in your timeline suggestions.

3. Communicate clearly and promptly.

Be professional in your communications with your translator. If they have a question, get back to them promptly so they can get back to work. In the same vein, if you have questions or concerns, address them in a timely manner rather than right before deadline. Express your expectations clearly to make sure everyone is on the same page.

4.  Don’t mix things up mid-process.

Make sure that your material is final before sending it off to your translator. Changes mid-way through a project can cause inconsistencies and confusion. We understand that sometimes changes are inevitable. When changes are absolutely needed, track them clearly and be as organized as possible to reduce extra work on your translator’s end.

5. Respect the project’s scope.

Have you ever sent your translator an assignment and then casually throw in a couple… or a few… add-ons without giving it a second thought? Chances are good that your translator noticed. Scope creep is when a client asks for a seemingly simple task and then adds on, adds on, and adds on until your translator has a long list of tasks that were not discussed at the outset and likely not budgeted for. If you have additional requests, don’t assume your translator will be fine with getting them done without changing the schedule or budget. It doesn’t hurt to ask – but don’t assume it’s a given; do assume it will change the price and deadline. Translators are open but too much scope creep will add on extra time and budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Give your translator the information they need. Provide context, ask clear questions, and answer their queries.
  • Respect your translator’s time and value.
  • Avoid project scope creep.

Looking for a trusted translation partner? Rossion works closely with your team to deliver quality localized content on time and budget. Get in touch.


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