August 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio August 1999 Current Issue
August 1999 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was adapted in part from A Consumer's Guide to Good Translation, prepared by the Client Education Committee of the American Translators Association, Alexandria, Va.


  • Will oral or written translation, or a combination of both, be desired?
  • Into how many languages will the program need to be translated?
  • Will translators be working on site?
  • Will equipment be provided (for example, in a professional translation booth), or will the translators need to provide their own?

  • How does the company select its translators?
  • Are individual tests administered to translators?
  • For what languages does the company provide translation services?
  • Does the company have a language specialty?
  • If you need translation services in a language the company does not offer ordinarily, will it be willing to find a competent translator for that language?
  • Are on-site translation services provided? Is someone on staff capable of judging translation quality?
  • Is the translation company owned or operated by an experienced translator who is accredited by the American Translators Association?
  • Does the company have its own editors and proofreaders to check printed material that requires translation?
  • Are the printed materials checked before going out to the customer?
  • What is the turnaround time?
  • Ask how the company charges by the hour, by the number of translated pages and what additional charges there are for on-site translation.
  • When the company calls in an outside translator, will that translator bill directly, or will the invoice go through the translation company? Ask about markup fees.
  • Will cost estimates be honored?
  • Will deadlines for printed materials be honored?
  • Does the company have references? Ask for references who had the same language translation needs.
  • In case of emergency, will backup translators be provided?
  • What other services does the company provide (i.e., updating glossaries or coordinating large projects, such as translating technical data into several languages)?

  • Do they speak and write well?
  • Do they ask questions about the project at hand? Good translators will try to get an understanding of the field in which they will be required to work.
  • Are they accredited by the American Translators Association? To verify credentials, write to ATA, 1800 Diagonal Rd., Suite 220, Alexandria, Va. 22314, or call (703) 683-6100.
  • What are the translator's special subject fields (for example, is the translator good at deciphering financial documents or medical texts)?
  • What experience do they have?
  • Are they skilled in the required languages?
  • Do they have access to resources, other than a dictionary, for dialects and cultural nuances?
  • Do they have the necessary translation equipment?
  • How do they charge? Ask for an estimate.
  • What is the turnaround time for getting the translation on paper?
  • Are they capable of providing multiple copies of the translated material?
  • In case of emergency, can they guarantee a reliable backup translator?
  • Are they willing to travel?
  • Are they willing to be subjected to a translation test?
  • Do they have references who had similar needs?

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