FAQ

You are sure to have questions before getting in touch with me. This FAQ should answer some of the more common queries you might have.

How much do you charge?

All linguistic projects are different, so I will always assess every job on a case-by-case basis to provide you with a personalised quote. Generally speaking, my services are either priced per word or per hour, but I also sometimes offer flat rates for packages of services.

For more information, please see my Pricing page.

You aren't the cheapest company I've found. Why are you more expensive than your competitors?

As in all industries, you get what you pay for. In order to always do an excellent job for my clients, I have spent many years and a large amount of money perfecting my language and translation skills, and learning about specific industries. My prices reflect this.

I don't need my document to be perfect. Can I get a discount?

As a qualified professional, I don’t offer different grades of quality – in fact, I wouldn’t be sure how to provide lower-quality work! You will only ever get a perfect text when working with me, no matter what your text is for.

What are your terms and conditions of service?

You can view my terms and conditions here.

I'm a student/newcomer to the industry. Can you help me to get work?

Congratulations! Ours is a dynamic industry brimming with opportunities for both professional and personal growth. I can’t help you find work, but I can offer the odd bit of advice and assistance to nudge you in the right direction. Feel free to contact me with your questions and I’ll see what I can do. This e-book could help you in the meantime.

I represent a charity/non-profit organisation. Can you help me?

Of course I can! I strongly believe in giving back, so kudos for helping to make the world a better place. I have worked for numerous charitable organisations in the past and am delighted to offer reduced rates for non-profits. Get in touch to find out more.

I tried to use Google Translate but the translation came out wrong. Why is this?

Machine translation is an exciting recent development, but it is still far from perfect. Working solely on the basis of frequency statistics – with no real linguistic insight – machines still struggle to pick up on nuance and more colourful, creative language. This YouTube video experiment perfectly exemplifies the problem. When MT can flawlessly translate the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, things might change. For now, a professional, human translator is still your best bet.

Why can't my bilingual employee/sister-in-law/friend translate my document?

Translation requires far more than the laudable ability to speak two languages fluently. Every text contains a number of crucial elements, including subtle cultural references, linguistic nuance, and specialist knowledge relating to sometimes very technical fields. In order to get the best possible translation, you need to work with a qualified linguist who knows their languages and knows your business. Anything less, and you run the expensive risk of having to have your texts re-translated further down the line.

Why shouldn't I contact an agency with my translation projects?

Agencies are a good fit for some people, but they lack the personal touch and the one-to-one attention a translation company can provide. These companies typically have a high staff turnover and outsource translation to external providers, making it hard for them to get to know you and your business; with an agency, there is no guarantee that your project will be dealt with by the same person from start to finish.

In addition, due to the size and structure of the average translation agency, these companies have high overheads. Consequently, you will often pay considerably more for your translations than you would in working with a boutique company or freelancer – while receiving zero added value.

How does translation work?

Here’s a brief overview of the various stages of a translation project:

  1. The client submits the details of their project.
  2. The translator analyses the project: What service is needed? What resources will be required for the job? How long will this kind of job take? Are there any special requirements?
  3. A quote is submitted to the client.
  4. All things being well, the job is confirmed in writing.
  5. Any relevant reference materials (e.g. glossaries, existing company literature etc.) are collected from the client.
  6. The translator carries out thorough terminology research and produces a draft translation.
  7. First round of proofreading – checking spelling, grammar and punctuation, as well as consistency.
  8. Second round of proofreading and quality control – checking the translation against the foreign-language text and glossary, and checking formatting.
  9. Timely delivery of the translation in all relevant formats.
  10. Any queries are answered and the job is signed off.

How long will the job take?

My daily output can vary between approx. 700 and 3,500 words depending on the project, so it’s very difficult to give an answer to that question here. If you’d like to find out how long a specific job will take, please contact me with your requirements for a free, no-obligation quote.

How do I know a translation is good?

There are various qualities you should look for in a professional linguist, which should go some way to reassuring you that your translation is in safe hands:

  • works only into their mother tongue (true bilinguals are rare)
  • excellent foreign language skills
  • perfect understanding of their own language
  • superb writing skills
  • patience and good research skills
  • specialist knowledge of your field
  • qualification(s) in translation/interpreting
  • membership of a professional organisation (e.g. ITI, CioL, IAPTIATA, AIIC… etc.)
  • continual investment in skills (you will find my CPD record here)
  • knows and understands their own limitations
  • excellent time management skills

If you’ve already had a text translated elsewhere and would like to have it reviewed, do get in touch.  I will be more than happy to help!

What is interpreting?

Interpretation, or interpreting, is the facilitation of spoken communication between a speaker and his/her audience. From one-on-one conversations between business partners to simultaneous interpreting for hundreds at a multilingual event, interpreters are the highly qualified (though often invisible) cogs that help corporate machines to tick on the international stage. You will find a list of the interpreting services I offer here.

Why can't my bilingual employee/sister-in-law/friend interpret for me?

Aside from the more obvious pitfalls of working with a non-fluent or unqualified interpreter (including inaccurate/incomplete interpretation), an amateur will often fail to be objective, causing them to omit things which may be of the utmost importance to your message. Amateurs also tend to get unstuck in high-powered situations like tense negotiations or high-profile conferences, since the pressure to perform can be overwhelming. We’re all only human, but you can circumvent most of these issues by hiring a professional.

Can you interpret into and out of any language?

Depending upon the type of interpreting required, professional interpreters will generally only ever interpret from languages they understand perfectly into their mother tongue. In my case, I only work from French and German into English. One key exception to this rule is liaison or telephone interpreting, where a single interpreter will move back and forth between languages to facilitate a seamless bilingual conversation between speakers.

I need interpreters for several languages. Can you help?

While I may not speak every language, I have a close-knit circle of trusted colleagues who should be able to cater to your needs. I can source interpreters for most European languages and also a few Asian ones (including Mandarin), so don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ll help you as best I can.

How many interpreters do I need for my meeting?

Interpreting is a mentally exhausting discipline. Consequently, interpreters generally work for no more than 30 minutes before taking a break. For conference interpreting, you will need to engage two interpreters for a full day (eight hours). They will then take turns to provide your audience with a professional interpreting service. Liaison interpreters operate a little differently. Feel free to contact me to discuss your specific circumstances.

Do I need any special equipment? Can you help?

This will depend on the nature of the assignment. If you require simultaneous interpreting for a large-scale event, you will need to rent soundproof booths for your interpreters. Don’t worry! If your event requires the use of professional equipment, I can help with this.

Why can’t you help me break into the North American or African markets?

It would be unprofessional of me to offer any service in which I wasn’t absolutely confident. I don’t know those markets nearly as well as the European one, and this is why I don’t offer country profiles or networking services for them. I can, however, recommend very capable colleagues.

I need a service that you don’t list on your website. Can you help me?

The list of business services on the website is not exhaustive, so I can certainly try! Contact me with the details of your project and I’ll see what I can do.

 

Still got burning questions? Click the button below to contact me!