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Customer’s checklist

Getting an estimate or a quotation from Vis Verborum is as simple as getting in touch with me, but you might like to bear in mind the points below first. I also recommend the excellent free guide Translation – getting it right published by the International Federation of Translators.

What is it you want translating?

A set of company accounts, a newspaper article, a scientific paper, a website, a nineteenth-century handwritten will, a death certificate, a medical report, a television interview, an in-house laboratory protocol, a nautical chart, the script for a television advert? Vis Verborum has translated all of those and more! But I have to know from the start if I’m going to give you a reasonable estimate for the work involved: just saying “I’ve got this document in French” is not very helpful.

When do you need it for?

Good quality translation takes time. Exactly how long depends on the type of document and the intended use of the translation but, as general guidance, very few translators can manage more than 3000 words per day on a regular basis and still produce good quality translations.

What is it going to be used for?

Is it just for yourself or for people in your company (e.g., a letter from a client, or an ancestor’s marriage certificate), or is it going to be published to the whole wide world (e.g., a website)? Do you want to know about every last nuance of language in the text, or do you want the translation to read like an original? There is a choice to be made, as it is usually impossible to have both in the same translation, and it is much easier for the translator to know this from the start than to try to correct a translation that has already been written with a different audience in mind.

Does it need certifying?

The answer is usually “No” but, if you think the translation needs certifying, I need as much information as possible as to who it is intended for, because there are many different kinds of certification. Please remember as well that certified translations must usually be delivered as a hard copy.

I am not interested in supplying a poor quality translation that doesn’t fit your needs. If you want a poor quality translation that doesn’t fit your needs, you can get one for free at Google Translate. The more information you can supply early on, the more likely you are to be happy with the end result.