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4 Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering a Professional Translation

by Chad Richardson

December 20, 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? Who is your target audience? Should the writing style be informal or formal? 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. However, be mindful that quality translations require a human workflow with a reasonable turnaround time.


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. 

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