Hiring a Marketing Translator
Most important points
No size fits all when it comes to marketing communications and translations. Each project is unique. Sometimes, straight translation is your best choice. Certain tasks require transcreation and adaptation. Even copywriting may come in handy.
The first step is to be clear on what we’re dealing with. Is your project highly technical or creative? Is it general info, a marketing brochure, or a web copy?
My fees start at 80 Euro per 1000 words. But if you ask for a price offer without sending your project for estimation, the final figure may appear to be higher. Moreover, some jobs are charged by hour (not less than X hours and no more than Y) or by complete project.
To get a final cost breakdown, the translator needs to have a look at the document to:
- See if the subject suits his or her expertise
- Count total words
- Consider file format and software needed
- Consider delivery time
- Consider special requirements (if any)
All documents will be treated as confidential, even if you choose another service provider.
No freelancer signs on a project without a deadline. Sometimes, translators can set their own deadlines. Other times the work is time sensitive, so the deadline is set by the client. But be realistic. How long did it take to produce the original?
On average, I translate from 1.500 to 2.500 words per day. A technically challenging text may take additional time, if some background research is required. Projects with special formatting including presentations take longer, too.
If your project is broken up into phases, a deadline is assigned to each phase. In case the scope of work changes, the deadline is also subject to change, and vice versa.
I will do my best to meet your needs, but I believe that rush negatively affects quality of work. I don’t like compromising on quality, so the minimum deadline is 24 hours.
If you are ready to spend some time and prepare reference materials, chances are high that you will get exactly what you need. Previously created or localized brochures on the same subject, style guides and glossaries, product photos are more than welcome.
To choose appropriate vocabulary and text style, the translator needs to know as much as possible about the context: what the document is, who created it, what are the purposes and the audience. You need different writing styles to make web site content, catalogue descriptions, or media publications work effectively.
In case you cannot offer any background information or reference materials, that’s not a problem. I have years of experience in my specialisations backed by strong research skills. Any vague terminology will be discussed with you to find best possible solutions.
Single Point of Contact
A lifesaver both for the translator and the client. Limiting project communication to one person, whether you are a soloprenuer or a manager in a big firm, you avoid confusion and double work, save time and energy for all parties involved.
An inquisitive translator is actually good for your project. Some technical details can only be cleared by an in-house expert. May be your company uses different terminology for its in-house technical documentation as opposed to marketing materials? Then we’d better discuss your preferences with a person in charge of translation project.
Ideally, the result is examined by a single well educated person, native in a target language and familiar to your business and technologies. If you plan to have several reviewers, they’d better have clear criteria for correcting ‘mistakes.’ Too often, drawbacks and errors in a final translated version appear after reviews on the client’s side.
Editing & Proofreading
By default, the translator performs a basic check for consistent layout, typos and grammatical errors. If you plan to receive a document ready for publication—printing or upload— be sure to inform the translator. In that case you need an editing service.
Editing includes correction of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and sentence structure errors, checking the text layout as well as graph/table/image layout, and checking for style and pitch. In publishing, it’s typically understood that a document after editing still needs to be proofread. The proofreader reviews spelling and punctuation errors, looks for typos.
For editing and proofreading I charge per hour: fees start at 20€ per hour. If you’re still not sure whether you need an editing or proofreading service, just contact me for a consultation.
Payment & Invoicing
Currently I am based in Kyiv but I deal with customers from all over the world accepting payment via Paypal, Payoneer, Moneybookers, bank transfers, or cheques. Quotes in EUR and USD. A payment schedule and a grace period depend on the project and are discussed individually.
A project order
After the above mentioned points have been clarified, a project order is issued (a legal offer to buy translation services).
A project order includes:
- Outsourcer’s and service provider’s details
- The name of the file(s) included in the project
- Source and target languages
- Project volume: characters / words / lines / pages or hours devoted to the service
- Original source file format and project delivery / target format
- Delivery deadline: date and time (including time zone)
- Software required (if any)
- Rate: per source or target character / word / line / page or per hour
- Rate total and currency
- Primary payment method
- Payment deadline: the date and time limit for the outsourcer’s payment
- Further terms and conditions for the project and the business relationship (e.g. non-disclosure agreement)
- Additional information / requirements: useful URL(s), formatting guidelines, etc.
American Translators Association offers a sample of Translation Services Agreement with a comprehensive outline of contract clauses, terms, and conditions; includes compensation and payment, delivery, quality assurance, ownership of translation, confidentiality, non-inducement/non-solicitation, indemnification, dispute resolution.
Olesya Zaytseva, founder of Just Translate It, is a proficient translator and marketer with 20+ years of experience bringing her clients’ marketing communications to the next level through content translation, creation and promotion. Pursuing writing, archery, and combinatorial creativity. English and German into Russian.