Wrong way and right way
January 21, 2020

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering a Professional Translation

by Chad Richardson

January 21, 2019

Do you know what all successful international companies have in common? They take advantage of high-quality professional translation services.

Whether you need to translate a simple document or want to create a multilingual website, a poor translation can ruin your plans or, worse, your reputation.  

Here are a few common mistakes you can avoid when ordering a translation for your business.

1. Failing to Give Specific Instructions

A translation is much more than replacing one word with another in a different language. It can turn a hard-to-read, clunky text into a flowing essay that makes a reader laugh or cry. But only if you give a translator correct instructions.

What is the purpose of the document? What are the emotions it should induce? Where will it be used or published? Share your plans and expectations.

2. Not Sharing Supporting Literature

If you are ordering a technical translation, you may want to help the translator. Of course, experts are likely to find all the necessary information on their own. However, wouldn’t it be better to speed up the process by sharing what you already have?

For example, if your translation is related to something as complex as agricultural machinery repair, don’t hesitate to provide the company with a couple of manuals.

Translators have a tough job of becoming experts in whatever subject they are translating. Consider giving them a hand.

3. Forgetting to Check the Original Document

A common mistake that leads to utter unhappiness with the translator’s work is the low original document quality.

Check the document before sending it to the translation company. How accurate is it? Does it contain everything you need? If you aren’t happy with the original text, you are unlikely to enjoy the translation.

4. Neglecting to Set Time Limits

Even though a translation is a creative process, as a customer, you have the right to set time limits. If you need the result by a certain date, make sure to voice your needs. Don’t expect the translator to hurry if you don’t set a deadline.

Many top-notch companies are overwhelmed with orders. If you want your translation to get top priority, share your requirements.


A professional translation is a collaborative effort of the translator and the client. By spending a little time voicing your needs, setting time limits, and sharing supporting materials, you can achieve excellent results.

Our company can help you avoid the above mistakes. For more information, please contact us at any convenient time. 

Related Articles

Avoid the Productivity Trap

Betty Friedan knew what she was talking about when she said, “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” The idea that productivity equals value is an outdated and incorrect business model. It leads to exhaustion, frustration, and burnout. Mind Café defined the productivity trap as “a compulsive need to always…

Is your company providing the best Customer Experience possible?

Customer experience is crucial to every business’s success. It determines the business’s ability to foster customer loyalty, generate revenue, and differentiate its brand. Benefits of delivering an excellent customer experience: More customer satisfaction More customer loyalty More recommendations More positive reviews What is the customer experience?    The term, also known as CX, refers to…

Agile Project Management vs. Waterfall Project Management

What was once a means to keep software developers on task, and within the scope of their projects, Agile project methodologies have pushed the boundaries of what it means to manage a project and be part of a project. Even further, agile leadership has become a near-standard for managers across the globe.   Let’s take a…

for you

We’d love to learn more about your translation and localization needs.