- What are your working languages? Do you translate into English?
- What should I do to have my text translated?
- Do you accept free translation tests?
- Why call upon a professional translator?
- How are your rates presented?
- Why is this so expensive?
- What are your credentials?
- What tools do you use?
- I need to have a conference translated, can you help me?
- I need to have a certified legal translation, can you help me?
- Are you available to translate a novel?
- Do you offer other services than translation?
1. What are your working languages? Do you translate into English?
I only translate from English and Italian into French. Like any serious and qualified translator, I only translate into my mother tongue. This does not prevent me from having a thorough knowledge of my working languages, so that I can grasp the tiniest nuances.
2. What should I do to have my text translated?
To get a free quote, it is important to give as much information as possible. Ideally, you should provide the translator with the document that needs translating. Otherwise, specify the text type, the number of words (or pages), the deadline and if reference documents or glossaries are available.
Once the quote is accepted, the translation process begins. It consists in several steps: documentary researches, writing, revision and proofreading.
3. Do you accept free translation tests?
In the translation industry, it is common usage to evaluate a translator’s skills by having them translate a short text instead of having a job interview. If the text is limited to 3 or 4 paragraphs (400 to 500 words maximum), I don’t have any objection..
4. Why call upon a professional translator?
This is the so-called « I-speak-some-French, I-can-take-care-of-it-with-Google-Translate » syndrome. Sure, you’re not forced to pay a professional. But only a human and competent translator is able to render the tiniest subtleties of languages and avoid polysemy. Besides, translators are attentive to their client and can adapt or localize the texts to the target culture. The British Institute of Translation & Interpreting offers a free guide to buying a translation.
5. How are your rates presented?
On the French market, for general technical translations, rates are expressed per source word, i.e. per number of words contained in the document to translate. Most of the time, it is calculated using Word or specialized software such as Anycount.
In the publishing industry, rates are expressed in standard pages composed of 25 lines of 60 characters. Using an automatic word count, rates for 1,500 keystroke segments are increased by 15 to 20% according to usage and the French literary translators association (ATLF) recommendations.
VAT is never included, unless otherwise indicated.
6. Why is this so expensive?
Translation is certainly a non-negligible operational expense. But it is more economical to call upon a competent professional from the beginning. Really.
Let’s imagine that you buy a translation from the lowest bidder, say 10k words for only 500€. You then notice the low quality and ask for advice from an expert translator (100€). Faced with such a calamitous text, he’ll certainly tell you that the text needs to be retranslated from scratch, by someone competent at an honest price (1,400€). Bottom line: you have lost 2,000€ while you could spend only 1,400€ if you make the right decision from the beginning.
7. What are your credentials?
I graduated from the ESIT translation school in Paris and I have been an active member of the ESIT Alumni Association (AAE-ESIT). I am also a member of the SFT (French translators) and ATLF (Literary Translators in France). In the past, I also have been a member of the British Chartered Institute of Linguists and the American NETA (New England branch of the American Translators Association).
8. What tools do you use?
Brains and passion are my main weapons! More seriously, I work on a Windows 7 system with MS Office 2010: I can thus work on all major file formats (doc, xls, pdf, ppt, jpg…). I use websites such as Termium or IATE for my terminology searches. I don’t use CAT (Computer aided-translation) tools very much, which are only useful for repetitive texts, but I know how to use Wordfast and Trados.
9. I need to have a conference translated, can you help me?
Unfortunately no. « Oral translation » is another profession: interpretation. A translator only works on written texts. However, you can easily find professionals who are both. As far as I am concerned, I would rather stick to what I do best: written texts. You can find many qualified interpreters in the ESIT Alumni online directory.
10. I need to have a certified legal translation, can you help me?
No. You need to find a sworn translator, which I am not. To find a sworn translator in your desired linguistic combination, contact the relevant authority of you country or the ESIT Alumni directory.
11. Are you available to translate a novel?
Why not! Literary translation is really different from the technical translation. I am open to any proposition, whatever field it is. By the way, you will see in my Portfolio that I occasionally translate short stories.
12. Do you offer other services than translation?
Actually, yes: being versatile is a great asset in our globalized world. If you need consulting, writing, editing, proofreading or even voice-over, please send me an e-mail and we’ll see what I can do for you.