faq how work translator

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Any translator should only translate into their native language if they want to ensure a quality job. Although I have studied English and German for several years and reached a high proficiency level, only native speakers can guarantee a native-proof text.

Yes. I have obtained a Master degree in Specialized Translation from the Department of Interpreting and Translation of the University of Bologna. Before that, I had earned a Bachelor degree in Intercultural and Linguistic Mediation from the same department, for a total of 5 years of education in this field.

On average, a translator is able to translate around 2,000 words per working day. A translation can require more or less time depending on whether the text is general, and can therefore be translated relatively quickly, or technical, i.e. it is very sector-specific and dense of technical terms or requires more extensive searches. If the parties have agreed upon secondary tasks (and this is often the case), such as formatting of the text to reflect the original, proofreading of the translated text, etc. these must also be considered in calculating the delivery term.

On average, it takes 1 hour to review 1,000 words. A review can require more or less time depending on the quality of the translation that is reviewed, on whether the text is general or specific, and on the specific review requirements for a project: should the reviewer only fix grammatical mistakes? Should style and readability be improved as well?

Broadly speaking, all these services are focused on making a text better. As a best practice, they are usually performed on a translation by an independent reviewer or by the author of the translation themselves.
Proofreading can be understood as the most basic check and it involves fixing “objective mistakes”, such as spelling and grammar mistakes.
Editing and review can be understood as “full checks” as they go a step further and involve any style changes that may be needed.
That being said, you should not worry too much about definitions: in your request, we will assess together what’s exactly required for your text to be as effective as possible.

While translation is the conversion of written content from one language to another, interpreting means to translate orally and in person at business meetings, conferences, trade fairs, etc. Interpreters are required to have a whole different skill set from translators, which is why I do not offer interpreting services – but I can still recommend a trusted colleague who does, so contact me anyway!

My rates are not fixed. Each language project is unique. In this sector, rates strongly depend on characteristics such as language combination, text length, format, specificity, etc. If you have a narrow delivery time I also need to take into account the urgency factor. Based on my best knowledge and experience I will combine these factors into a rate per hour or per project.

No. Translation is not a mass, standardized product, but a unique service every time. While the offer for a big job is surely attractive, when translators face a large translation, they do not benefit from a time gain, lower production costs or a higher margin which could justify a volume discount.
That said, I do take into account internal repetitions in a text (see below) and this can result in a discount.

CAT is an acronym for Computer Assisted Translation. Does this mean translators let machines do the job? Absolutely not! This kind of software is specifically intended to provide an optimized environment in which translators can work more efficiently, tap into reference files and resources more easily, perform checks and many other operations aimed to produce a spot-on translation and to increase the translator’s productivity for their clients’ and their own benefit. For example, CAT tools are able to analyze text files and flag any similar or identical parts the text may contain (internal repetitions) so that the translator does not ‘do the job twice’.

I do, for texts in which benefits can be taken from their usage (easier management of repetitions, terminology glossaries, and figures), such as technical translations. On the other hand, CAT tools may even result confining in more creative projects, where the focus is on creating an elegant text that does not necessarily follow the structure of the original text. Whether a text can benefit from a CAT tool or not often depends on the specific project.

P.S. Anything still unclear? Just ask!