How much will the translation cost?
The price depends on the combination of a number of factors:
- The number of words in source text (the document to be translated),
- The turnaround time requested,
- The level of complexity of the text, whether any additional services are required (for example editing, formatting, transcription, localisation) and whether or not it needs to be certified.
Needless to say this varies enormously from client to client and so quotes are tailored to specific client needs rather than trying to make jobs fit into an inflexible uniform pricing structure. However, to give a general idea, a short 1 page document with very little text (such as an academic certificate for example) may cost in the region of €35, whereas the price for a more lengthy document of general, non-technical text would cost in the region of €95 per 1000 words. The price may be more for urgent jobs, technically complex texts and if any other services are also requested. Discounts may be available for texts that can be translated using CAT tools (see below).
Why should I hire a professional translator when I can just use online machine translation for free?
While it is true that MT (machine translation) can often handle short and unambiguous texts, it is still a long way from being able to detect the many nuances and ambiguities that are inherent to virtually all texts and which form a vitally important part of the message they intend to convey. Equally MT does not factor in important elements such as context, cultural differences and the underlying function of the translated text (to sell, to persuade, to entertain, to inform, etc) all of which are also key considerations when deciding how to translate a particular text. Only human translators can successfully detect and process these elements in order to produce translations that are not only accurate but also meet their functional requirements (for example by persuading readers to buy your product). Moreover only human translators can ensure that the hard work that went into creating the original text and gaining the benefit from it in the source culture is not then undermined through the damage that a poor translation can cause in the target culture. A well-known example is the ill-fated slogan used by Electrolux in their US marketing campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”.
What technology do you use?
I currently use Trados Studio, MemoQ and Déjà Vu X3, which are powerful CAT (computer assisted translation) tools. This is not the same as MT as the translation is still carried out by human translators. However with its powerful translation memory software it is able to store translation segments (sentences or parts of sentences) which can then be reused should a similar document need to be translated later on. This is particularly useful for clients needing to make revisions to documents that have already been translated by me as it significantly reduces the time and cost involved in such projects. This software also makes it possible to create and maintain customized terminology databases tailored to the specific needs of each client thereby ensuring greater consistency, quality and speed in the translation process. Add in a powerful QA function able to resolve quality issues at the touch of a button and this makes for an effective support tool in the production of top quality translations.
What’s the difference between translation and interpreting?
Translation deals with written texts whereas interpreting is the domain of the spoken word. While there are clearly similarities between the two activities, it should be remembered that the skills required for each one are quite different and it’s important therefore to ensure that the person you choose for the job has the specific training and experience required. I offer mainly translation services but can also source reliable and professionally trained interpreters in the event this is required.