Through the years, it seems that the mistakes we see happening tend to repeat itself. So we’ve compiled the top 5 mistakes that you can avoid so your next translation or interpreting assignment could be more smooth sailing and hassle free.
Mistake # 1. Requesting an Interpreter with Little Time to Spare.
We’ve had requests for interpreters for business conferences, seminars or international trade shows in various parts of the world. The problem is at times we are only given a few days to prepare for this project. Depending on the number of interpreters needed, the location of the meeting and the specific language pairs required, it may take a few days to get a proper team assembled for an international conference. Will the interpreters be coming from the host country or would you prefer to bring your own interpreter? We had a previous job where the client specifically requested that they are accompanied by a Japanese interpreter from the US to a business conference in Japan. Remember to book your interpreting team way in advance. This will ensure that you have the right professional interpreting team competently serving your language needs.
Mistake # 2. Having a Low Budget.
When requesting interpreters for either a local or international event, you need to factor the number of days they are needed, the travel involved for the interpreter, the number of hours required of them to work per day and accommodations if the interpreter is traveling with you.
Are you paying per hour, per day or per the whole event? We encounter clients who have not carefully considered the realistic expenses involved.
This applies to translation projects as well. How complex is the document involved? What type of language expertise is needed? How big is the assignment and when is it due? These are factors to consider when pricing a job.
Mistake # 3. Going with the Lowest Rate
It follows that when you have a low budget, the tendency is to go with the lowest rate. This makes sense on the outset but may have more expensive repercussions at the end. Going with someone that’s been proven and tested is the better way to go. Affordability is essential but quality delivery is always more important to the client. Finding a good balance between reasonable rates and professional quality work is what you should aim for. At Affordable Interpreters, we work hard to make this happen for our clients.
Mistake # 4. Not setting the Right Expectation
The more detailed your instructions to the interpreter or translator before implementation of your specific job, the better the results. Tell them in detail what your client wants and what they don’t want. What needs to happen before and after the job? Who is doing the proofreading after the work is completed? Does it need to be certified or notarized? Does the interpreter need to be a certified? What specific qualifications and expertise do they need to have? Communicating all your expectations to your translation team upfront and clearly will save a lot of headaches later.
Mistake # 5. Not Working with a Translation Agency
Translation agencies have the resources, connections and time to research all your project requests. A professional translation agency will have a network of expert interpreters and translators all over the world. They have screened their credentials and know their selected field of language expertise. These companies have already negotiated special pricing with interpreters and translators so the rates you are being quoted are competitive and sometimes even below market rates. They can do all the legwork for you. Partner up with a reputable and reliable translation agency. This will save you time, money and needless aggravation.