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Purchasing Tips for translation services.

For many people, buying translation services can be a frustrating experience. We have summarized key points to clarify the issues faced when procuring translation services.

1. Does it really need to be translated? Many times clients request translation of large documents. After careful consideration, perhaps only a portion of your large document needs translation. You may be able to trim hundreds of pages and thousands of dollars from your budget if you … translate only relevant sections of the source document or produce shorter versions of your original document.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes maps, drawings, and diagrams are far more effective than verbosity so … use text only when you must.

3. Think "international" from the start. Avoid cultural clichés within your text and imagery that might be relevant to only one culture. These only yield lengthy translated wordplays so…keep the local flavor but check with your international team.

4. Should you use a translation company or a freelance translator? Both a freelance translator and a translation company can be appropriate. Companies will generally charge more because of the teamwork, added value of project management, quality control, file conversions, and standardized presentations for multilingual projects. This team's price ultimately can save you hours of work.

5. Translators may produce accurate yet not polished translations, something called "for information" translations. They generally can be produced faster and more cheaply than "for publication translations." Some translators and translation companies routinely supply "for information" translation as standard work rather than a "for publication" job. To avoid confusion, clarify what you prefer with your translation service. Learn more in our quality options article.

6. Resist the temptation to do it yourself. Speaking is not the same as writing. Oral fluency does not make smooth, stylish writing. Further, in many cultures, the incorrect use of the local language -especially by a native English speaker-- is not amusing; it is insulting.

7. Finalize your document before translating it. Writing a document and translating it simultaneously is not a wise idea. The time spent editing and revising the translation work greatly increases your translation cost.

8. Tell your translator the purpose of the translation. He or she then will be able to prepare the document for maximum impact with your intended audience.

四川晓惠商贸有限公司9. Professional translators will work into their native language. Make sure you are speaking your readers' language. No one is more qualified to ensure this than a native speaker.

10. The more technical your subject, the more important your translator knows it inside out. Technical translations require translator knowledge of the subject matter, the source language, and good writing skills in the target language as well as good understanding of the source language. More in technical translations section.

四川晓惠商贸有限公司11. Have your translation provider proofread the typeset copy. Typesetters are not responsible for accurate and proper text. Good translation practices include a final proof from the translator.

12. Take into account that typographical conventions vary from one language to another. Countries have different typographical conventions, even when they speak the same language. If you need to localize text for a specific country, make sure you are following that country's conventions. For example, Mexico's numbers are divided into thousands by a comma. In Argentina, numbers are divided into thousands by a period.

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