A few pointers to ensure a flawless translation process at Ad Verbum translation agency.
- Always make sure your source text is unambiguous, free of errors and grammar mistakes. Not sure? Then check out this website for clear answers!
- Punctuation is important too. Just a funny example:
A professor wrote the words “a woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.
The men wrote: “A woman, without her man, is nothing.”
The women wrote: “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”
- Times and dates
Remember that times and dates are quoted differently in various parts of the world: e.g.
* 12/09 means 12 September in Europe, but in the USA people will be convinced it means 9 December…
* In English-language countries, the 24-hour clock is rarely used. So instead of 18.00 h, people will say 6 pm.
* The use of commas in numbers, too, differs from language to language.
1.000 USD will be read as ‘one thousand dollars’ by Dutch speaking people. Whereas in English, people could interpret this as only ‘one dollar’.
So: Dutch: 1.000 USD = 1,000 USD in English
Be careful with spaces, because one too many or one too few and you may get a completely different meaning altogether…
Context makes all the difference
Please give us plenty of background information as this is an essential part of the translation process!
Ad Verbum’s translators are very curious people who want to know everything, and that means absolutely everything! Now you might think, ‘But surely that’s already in the text?’ Maybe… but we also like to know where you will be publishing your text (will it be online, in a brochure, catalogue, as an advert, etc.), what its target audience will be (professional clients, end users, consumers, etc.), what country it’s for in the main (French for Belgium, France, Canada, etc.), and so many other things that will give us all the information we need to make your translation a real hit!
We prefer to work on texts in Word format.
Though we are also fine with other formats, such as Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, HTML, PO, IDML, Publisher, etc., please remember that these often take a bit longer to translate and will therefore be a little more expensive. If you do not have the original digital version of the text you wish to have translated, then don’t worry. Just scan it in and email it to us or upload it on the client portal!
5,000 words by yesterday
Try to allow the same length of time for the translation as it took you to write the source text.
Translating used to be done by monks in times long past and that’s no wonder. Because translating is extremely labour-intensive and requires deep concentration as your translator and/or proofreader will be constantly switching in their mind between two different languages and cultures. A good night’s sleep will often bring fresh inspiration and insight. So with all this in mind, please set a realistic deadline and your translation will reap the benefits. In short, if you needed a week to write a text, then try to plan one week for the translation as well. A professional translator will translate some six pages or about 3,000 words on average per day, but of course this depends on the difficulty and the format you supply your text in. In an ideal world, a professional proofreader reads about 8,000 to 10,000 words per day. But if an assignment does not run smoothly, checking it will take just as long as the translation itself, or even longer.
Better one properly finished text in our inbox than 100 semi-finished ones in the pipeline…
Always try to provide a final version of the text you would like us to translate. This allows us to complete your translation in one go and to make sure the style and terminology are consistent, as changes or additions made later on increase the chance of errors or inconsistencies creeping into it, and that’s always a shame.