Is Your Text Ready for Translation or Editing?

Don't Send Before Answering Our 8 Pre-Submission Questions

Female academic conducts research online

Preparing your text requires much more than simply sending your raw materials to a translator or editor. Based on our experience with clients specializing in many different fields, we prepared the following checklist to help you take on some of the most common issues that our clients encounter when submitting their texts for translation or editing. The better you can answer the questions below, the better the chances your project will succeed.

1. Do you know who your target audience is and where the text is going to be published?

Good writers always keep their audience at the forefront of their mind. Are the readers going to appreciate formal, high register language or would they connect better to a more casual, relaxed style? Don’t only keep this in mind when you are writing; make sure you communicate your preferred style to the translator or editor.


2. Have you checked the word count to make sure your text is within the requirements?

Some projects (such as reports, brochures, and newspaper articles) are limited to a certain length -- usually a certain number of words. Be aware that if you send your article for translation it may end up being much longer or shorter in the target language than it was in the original (in some language pairs the difference can be up to 50%!).

Be sure to check whether there is a specified word count and ask your translator or editor if they expect a big discrepancy between the source and target language lengths.


3. Have you had the text reviewed for language, including grammar, style, and syntax?

Polished and coherent language is critical in every field. Texts with grammar and syntax errors may leave the reader wondering if they can trust the content itself. ALE can help you make sure that your text is error-free and ready for publication.


4. Is there a specific style sheet or set of formatting requirements that need to be met?

Check any style or formatting instructions carefully to see whether the language expert can handle the requirements. If there are images, be sure to check if the translator can work with the graphics or if they would prefer a simple text version.


5. Did you have your colleagues review the text and provide you with feedback?

Try to find a colleague or a friend that you trust to review your text and give you ideas for improvement and feedback. The quality of the translated or edited text depends, in part, on the quality of the original.

Try to avoid sending a rough draft that will require extensive revisions later on. The feedback you receive at this stage will help prevent needless back-and-forth.


6. Did you check whether the translator/editor charges according to source words or target words?

The difference between the number of words in the source text and the number in the target text can sometimes be significant. When possible, ask your translator for a quote based on the source text so that you know exactly how much you will be paying ahead of time.


7. Do you have specific terms or phrases you would like to use in your final text?

Is there specific terminology that you already know you would like to use in the target language? Be sure to add the terms in the source text the first time they appear or prepare a glossary of terms that you would like the translator to use.


8. Are there sections of the text that don’t need to be translated or edited?

There may be sections of your text that don’t actually need to be worked on for one reason or another. Make sure that you highlight these sections so that you aren’t mistakenly charged for them.


Are you ready to submit your paper? If so, you can upload your project and receive a price quote today!

Not ready yet? Feel free to reach out to see if we can help.

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