Frequently Asked Questions

Helen Robertson

Questions & Answers

" What information do you need when I place an order?”

Apart from the "source" language (the original language of the text) and the "target" language (into which it has to be translated), I need to know the type of document, the number of words, lines or pages, and how difficult or specialised it is (if you are unable to make that assessment yourself, I can help). I also need to know the purpose of the translation - is it for information or publication? - and the required delivery date. Any previous versions or glossaries are helpful.


"How should I supply the text?"

These days, translations are normally received and returned as electronic files by e-mail. This has a number of advantages as overtyping enables the original fonts and layout to be retained and the customer can use the text without reformatting. However, translations from hard copies are still quite common. Documents requiring certification should be supplied in the original, others can delivered by fax.


"What do you base your charges on?"

The standard pricing basis in the UK is per thousand words (normally about 3.5 pages with 1.5 line spacing). Other countries use line or page rates, and I can accommodate either of these. If a text is very complex or specialised, or if it is done as a "rush" job at the customer's request, the price will be adjusted to reflect this.


"Do you accept credit cards, and how do you handle cross-border trading?"

I no longer accept credit cards due to lack of demand for the service. I can accept any currency, but GBP and EUR are the most frequent. I have Euro accounts in the UK and Germany.


"How long does it take?"

A translator can normally handle around 2,000 words a day. Naturally, this varies according to the difficulty of the text and other factors such as legibility. Lead time also needs to be counted, a good translator is a busy translator and may not be able to start straight away.


"What is the difference between translating and interpreting?"

A translator works with written texts, while an interpreter works with the spoken language.

For more information on placing a translation order, please visit the Institute of Translation and Interpreting website at http://www.iti.org.uk