When you approach a translation agency, they will need to know a number of words to be translated, the language combination, the source format, when you need the translation by and if necessary what format it should be delivered in. These details will help the translation agency to price the piece of work. However, many translation agencies may not give a concrete quote until they see the document. It may be a good idea to have your translation in a format that can be emailed, such as a Word, PDF or scanned copy.
It is imperative that the brief is clear so thoroughly explain your needs. A good translation agency will always ask the right questions so that they get a full understanding of what you will need.
Once you have established the cost of your translation, it is always a good idea to ask the translation agency the following questions:
1. What is their charge per 1,000 words?
2. Do they charge by time, by source word or by target word? (if your translation is English/Italian, English would be the source language)
3. Is their quote concrete? (they can’t change it once the job has started)
4. Are all their translators qualified and what are those qualifications?
5. Do they only allow translators to work into their native languages?
6. If they miss your deadline how will they compensate you?
7. Does your translation include proofreading or only the translation?
8. If your translation is specific or technical, do the translators have experience in the subject matter?
9. Is payment for the translation required beforehand or afterwards?
10. What format do they propose to return your translation in?
11. If it is a large or important job it may be possible to ask for a trial translation – however, this may not always be free.
These questions for your translation agency should give you some insight into their understanding of the industry and their capabilities.