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Tips for Buyers of Translations

Faced with a bewildering freelance market of translators, the task of choosing a translator and organising a translation project might appear daunting. A couple of tips for buyers of translations are presented here to help with this task.

Finding a translator
    Consult websites of professional translators organisations (i.e. CIoL, SFÖ, ADÜ Nord, ITI, BDÜ)
    Check out your Chamber of Commerce or equivalent organisations
    Don’t hesitate to ask the translator for a sample of a previous translation
    Ask the potential translator for a list of his/her customers, and contact them for a reference

Defining the assignment

   Negotiate a contract about the
    Subject and scope the requested translation
    Purpose/use of the translation
    Deadline for delivery and requested format of translation
    Deadline for delivery and format of source text
    Payment terms
    Requirements (method of delivery, software, special terminology, etc.)
    Copyright issues (source text, translation)
    Proof-reading for publication
    Provisions for cancellation, force majeure and/or dispute

Supply of the source text

    In good time
    Final edit of text
    House style sheets, company/subject glossaries, lists of special linguistic preferences
    Original wording of quotes said in the target language
    Help with acronyms and abbreviations, particularly company-internal ones


    Try to ensure that a contact person is available during the translation process for sorting out questions and ambiguities
    It helps to split up large assignments into smaller ones

Proof-reading for publication

   Ensure there is a second person (native speaker/linguist of the target language) who proof-reads the translation
    Proof-read the translation from source to target language
    Proof-read the translation as a correct and idiomatic text in the target language


    You are invited to communicate your positive and negative impressions for future improvements
    Payment within the contract terms is appreciated

Further information for buyers of translations is available under:

Institute of Translation and Interpreting
  in English:
  in German:

Sveriges Facköversättarförening
  in Swedish:
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