November 12, 2019
Maria Joaquina Marques
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When we are approached by clients who require translation services, they often want it “for yesterday,” which brings to mind two possible scenarios: either they are completely disorganized and only realize they need a translation at the last minute, or they have no idea what the process of quality translation entails.

In the first scenario, it is important to plan the translation services a company will need, as not only may several problems arise, but also because the translator needs to clear their schedule and budget time for research and revision, even if the company hires the services of a third-party proofreader. Whether you hire an agency or freelance translator for the entire process of translation, it is important to create a definitive schedule on which both parties can rely.

When facing the second scenario, it is the translator’s responsibility to inform the client that the deadlines are unrealistic and that the end result will be mediocre. It is unreasonable to expect that a translator can translate 10,000 words or subtitle a 60-minute video in 24 hours. If a translator accepts such conditions, they give a bad impression of themselves and their work, as they are unlikely to have time to do proper research, validate, and review their own translation. Business leaders must understand that translation requires diligence and research; it might also require text and image editing, or video/audio conversion. In turn, translators must learn how to say “no” to unrealistic deadlines.

Avoiding unrealistic deadlines will benefit not only the end client, who will receive a quality product worthy of the investment made, but also the translator, who will have time to do their work properly. Good communication and clear deadlines are critical for an excellent translation that is not rushed or produced using automatic tools that do more harm than good.