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Preparing for translation or localization

How can I better prepare for my translation request?

What are some guidelines for quality translations?

Can I make changes to my text once translation or localization has started?

How much will it cost for my translation?

How can I count the number of words in my document?

What is an expansion rate?

What is the average turnaround time?

How can I best prepare for my translation request?
The following list of questions may be useful in preparing for your initial contact with a translation agency, and particularly useful for multilingual projects:

  • What is the purpose of the translation?
  • Is there any specific terminology to be used?
  • Should the translators follow one or more reference documents?
  • What is the estimated size of the document(s) in words or pages
  • Is there someone else you would like the language supplier to liaise with, either locally or internationally
  • What is the estimated start date and preferred delivery date?
  • Are there any special formatting requirements?
  • Do you need PDF, EPS or any other print-ready files?
  • What is the desired output medium: hard copy, electronic file, bromide or film?
  • How should the completed work be delivered: email, fax, post or courier?    top

What are some guidelines for quality translations?
We have prepared a document outlining a series of quality guidelines that can save you time, effort and money in the translation process. You can view this document and keep it for future use at vivadownloads.    top

Can I make changes to my text once translation or localization has started?
In almost all instances, changes to the source text after the process has started will impact both project budget and timeline. Changes have to be tracked within and across all documents and languages, translators will need to re-translated already completed portions, editors will need to re-review changes, and we would need to ensure that these changes are implemented in both the final DTP files and any translation memory files used in the process.    top

How much will it cost for my translation?
The cost of any translation depends a few factors including the nature and size of the document, your desired turnaround time and the requirement for any formatting, desktop publishing, or top editing. Contact us for a free quote that we guarantee will be delivered to you within half an hour.    top

How can I count the number of words in my document?
If your document is in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint format, you can easily find out how many words your document contains. Simply go to the "File" menu and select the "Properties" option, then check the "Statistics" tab. Word automatically counts the words, which are displayed along with the number of pages, paragraphs, lines and characters.

However, these applications DO NOT count words which are contained within text boxes or graphics. We have special tools which do so and will be happy to analyze your document for you.

If your document is not in Word or Powerpoint format, don't worry, we have tools which can estimate the number of words in almost any document (even hand-written and websites) quickly and easily.    top

What is an expansion rate?
English is a particularly compact language, so that when translating into other languages, the resulting text almost always contains more words than it did in English. For example, when translating into Spanish, the resulting text can expand by up to 20%. This is commonly referred to as the expansion rate, and is a factor when pricing a translation. Further, the subject and style of the material will also have strong influence on the expansion rate.

The expansion rate will also have an impact on the formatting of the material, particularly in PowerPoint presentations and more so in material produced in desktop publishing tools such as QuarkExpress, Illustrator, PageMaker and others.    top

What is the average turn-around time?
Turn-around time depend on a large number of factors like the languages to be translated into, the particular subject matter, the complexity of the text, the number of cross-references, the detail of any available reference materials, etc… A rule of thumb in the translation and localization industry states that a qualified translator can translate about 2,000 words per day. An editor can review and edit about 8,000 previously translated words per day.

Add to this the factors listed above as well as time for file preparation and handling time, project administration and management time, QA procedures, and communications and the number of words which can be produced for publication is probably somewhere around 1,000 to 1,500 per day. Adding additional translators to the project can significantly decrease turn-around time, but will present increased challenges in consistency of terminology and style.    top

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