This website was created to help our translators and various human resource
employees understand the requirements of our cooperation.
To many, these standards may be obvious, but we have found that many others
do not share the same insight (or experience). Therefore, we recommend that you read these
instructions carefully and in full, even though some parts may seem obvious.
For all jobs concerning the translation process (translation, proofread,
vetting) shown below, make special note that you are all working together as a
team to deliver a quality product on time. Any link in this chain that falls
behind will create additional pressure on subsequent links in the process. The
translating industry is NOT tolerant for breaches of deadlines and we
have lost many good customers because of this. So we must emphasise this to all
links in this process, and use only those people who we can rely on to fulfil
If any of you are having a problem, do not hide it but communicate
with us. We have a lot of experience and resources at our disposal, and it is
within our interest to help you accomplish the quality product that we want to
deliver, on time, to our customer.
If some instructions are not clear, we can rewrite
them. If you zip through a project
without reading the project's instructions carefully, and end up doing something
wrong, or if you keep writing us endless emails asking something we have already
answered, you will be charged for our time, or for
having to fix something because you did not read the instructions properly.
The instructions below are general and should already be known by a professional
and seasoned translator or proofreader. If you lack this experience, we suggest
you read the below text.
When emailing with us, proofread your email so that everything is clear for the
project managers and so that time is not wasted.
Instructions to Proofreaders
Instructions for all other Jobs
What you can expect
Instructions to Translators:
- unless instructed otherwise, a translation should always look like
the original document it is translated from. If translating into a Word file
(always preferable), here you will find instructions
how to format in Word.
You may compare translating to going to a restaurant or buying a stereo in a
shop. Presentation is important in impressing a customer. Imagine being served
your fine cuisine on a wooden table without a plate. Or handed over the
counter a stereo without packaging and the wires dangling, perhaps a scratch
on the stereo. Sure, the stereo may still work and the food may still taste
the same, but who would want to ever frequent let alone return to such an
For the same reason translation is more than just text but also the
presentation of the text (all professional translators should know how to
accomplish this and it is not practical for someone else to do this for you).
If a word is bold in the original, it should be bold in the translation as
well. The instructions how to format in Word above should reveal many shortcut
keys you may use while formatting to speed up this process to the point that
the time required to accomplish it is almost negligible.
Not only is this important so that the customer knows what translation refers
to what text in the original (hence positioning of the text on the page is
also important), but it impresses it overall. An impressed customer can be a
repeat customer Ė more work for us, and more work for you.
- This is the standard. But sometimes there are exceptions to the rule,
usually in the form of INSTRUCTIONS for particular projects. These
instructions are not written by the customer or ourselves for fun, but they
are meant to be followed. So you are expected to familiarise yourself fully
with the requirements and instructions for each project before commencing. If
you will be found not to be following the instructions, you will be required
to repair your work at your own expense. If this results in the work being
delivered late, a fine may be imposed as well.
- Respect the deadlines. This is one of the most important requirements
in translating and late deadlines are never tolerated by the customer. After
the translation, there is often a proofread, followed by a vetting stage (to
check that no translation has been overlooked and that the formatting and
instructions have been followed properly), followed by a finalisation stage
back to the translator if something has been found missing. So any delays can
delay final delivery of the entire translation. Plan your time so that you are
finished ahead of the deadline. Events can always occur to delay your
delivery, so give yourself some room for such unforeseen circumstances. And
leave ample room to proofread and spell check your own work. If you are
falling behind, inform us well in advance so that we can find someone to
help you. (Of course, it is much better if you are able to plan your time and
fulfil your original promise.) And if you are running out of time or into
problems, do NOT compromise quality but rather inform your problems to
us so that we can try to come up with a solution.
- Proofread your translation after yourself. This is another must, as
first drafts are often littered with silly mistakes and do not look
professional at all. Read your work after you are complete, make consistent
your use of terminology (refer below for tips on how to accomplish this), and
polish up the grammar and style so that it reads like an original creation and
not a translation. It should not feel like a translation and should definitely
be as far away from a word-to-word/machine translation as possible (unless,
once again, instructed otherwise by the customer).
This part is almost the most difficult, as it requires much greater attention
and focus. You are no longer translating so much words and phrases but you
must make sure you understand what you are reading and that it makes
- Spell check your document. There are many programs available for this
(we can help you if you do not have support for this) and it is absolutely
unacceptable and unprofessional in the translating industry to accept spelling
mistakes in your translation.
- If you are having difficulty with terminology issues, ask us so
that we can look for specialists to help you. Of course, it would be better
not to accept work which is beyond your ability, but sometimes you may run
into the occasional terminology with which you need help. Do not just
guess and hope that no one notices. Either we may notice, or worse, the
customer. If you try to iron over these difficult points without pointing them
out to us, we will have much more difficulty trusting you with translations in
the future. Letís work together!
- The style of the translation should always correspond to the text.
If the text is a newspaper article, then a journalistic style should be used.
If the text is a business letter or some marketing material, then the
appropriate style should be used.
The translation, inevitably, should have the right meaning, but should also
reflect the tone of the original. Hence, if the translation is of an angry
business letter demanding payment, then the final translation should express
the same tone (with appropriate taste, of course). It may happen though that
certain points cannot be translated well considering the differing customs and
cultures of the respective languages. We always strive to focus more on the
language being translated into rather than the language being translated from.
If you feel some major changes should be made to the text, it would be good
for you to contact us so that we could consult the issue(s) with the customer.
- Translating Tips.
When you translate your first draft, it is good practice to mark any
uncertain areas or terminology with a character, such as "<". Marking areas
totally not clear to you not only saves time, in that you need not stop and
contemplate on areas you are not absolutely certain of, but it will improve
the final quality of your translation in that you will be able to address
these areas more closely once you have completed the translation and when you
will have a clearer idea and better feel concerning the entire translation.
Areas still uncertain after the second or third self-edit should be brought to
our attention so that we could refer the matter to one of our specialists. If,
on the other hand, you do not address these issues and we find severe problems
with the translation, we will have it corrected by a qualified translator, at
These special markings may also be used to make comments for yourself, such as
" <[change previous terminology to...] ", when you have, for example, decided
on more appropriate terminology at some later point in a translation and hence
will want to go back and change or update the previous terminology you were
using once you complete the translation (the search and replace function can
also aid you in this matter).
- Tips on translating over Word documents:
Sometimes you may receive an image file (such as .tiff or .pdf) to
translate, in which case you would create a Word file from scratch and type
your translation into that, positioning the text and formatting it to reflect
the original. However, other times you would receive a file you can open in
Word to translate over top of. Below are some tips how you can effectively do
- create a second file (save as) so that you have a copy of the original
- try to maintain the formatting exactly as the original file
- to do this, place the cursor at the beginning of a paragraph or line you
want to translate, press ENTER, the left cursor and begin translating. This
should maintain the same formatting as the paragraph you are translating. Once
you have translated that paragraph, you can delete the original paragraph or
line you were translating.
- in Word, if you make a mistake, you can always refer to the original,
select the paragraph of which you want to copy its formatting (also select the
backward P mark at the end of the paragraph), press CTRL SHIFT C, select the
paragraph in the final translation file where you want to paste the formatting
and press CTRL SHIFT V.
if there is a table of contents in the file or any fields (they should
turn grey whenever you place the cursor within them), these can be update at
the very end of the translation by simply selecting the entire document (CTRL
A when you have the cursor in the document somewhere) and then by pressing F9.
- OCR - sometimes when translating from
an image file, such as .pdf, there may be a lot of tables and graphs in the
original document, making it difficult to recreate it all in a blank Word
file. For this purpose we can OCR the document for you, which scans it and
converts it into Word, creating all the tables, duplicating the graphs and
transcribing all the numbers in the table for you, so that you can focus on
translation only and not on a lot of formatting. Usually we would offer this
to you if the documentation warranted it, but sometimes we might overlook or
forget this, so feel free to ask us for this if you think it will help you
with the translation.
You can find other and more detailed tips on translating at our
translation tips page.
Instructions to Proofreaders:
Depending on the source and target languages, it may often be difficult for a
translator to not be influenced by the original text and write the translation
in a smooth and freely flowing manner. This is where the proofreader becomes
effective and who can take a fresh look at the final product from the
perspective of the target language and help bring the final product closer to an
ideal. This is made more difficult if the quality of the translation (which may
be influenced by the quality of the translator or if the original document is
not good) is poor, so your feedback concerning this matter is always important
to us. If something seems strange or not quite understandable, rather than guess
what the original document actually meant and change the meaning, it is often
advisable to put comments in the translation in < > brackets and inform us of
the problem. Either we will take a look at it or send it back to the translator
for further review. Your work is an important step towards finding
inconsistencies, taking a fresh and different look at the translation, and in
polishing it up overall to produce a truly quality product.
For those proofreaders who prefer to charge by the hour instead of by the word,
we know how long things generally take, and we often send your proofread with
changes shown back to the translator for their opinion. We can also ask the
opinion of other qualified translators, so it does not make sense to make lots
of unnecessary changes. The important point is to comb through the translation
to look for errors, polish the style, and make sure the final quality is
something we can be proud of. You are not expected to compare the entire
translation against the original, but you can refer to the original if something
seems odd in the translation. After you, the vettor will be responsible for
comparing the translation against the original to make sure nothing is missing
and that the formatting is correct.
For those who prefer to charge by the hour as opposed to by
the word, please read our comments concerning this in the section below on
Instructions for All Other Jobs.
Instructions for all other jobs:
Instructions for all other jobs are similar to the above. Essentially, you
must respect deadlines. If you are falling behind, inform us well in
advance so that we can try to find someone to help you. Pace yourself and manage
your time so that you can produce a quality product. If you commit yourself to a
task and deadline but then find some other more interesting or better paying
work, you can expect to never receive work from us again. We cannot provide a
quality service to our clients based on people with these types of work ethics.
In such cases, you may think of a suitable excuse why you could not accomplish
something, but we will always log such excuses and eventually decide on the
above. Of course, unanticipated circumstances do occasionally occur, and
we can be forgiving and helpful, but we generally have a good idea how often
such circumstances occur. Therefore, we suggest that you just do honest and
ethical work, based on which we can provide a quality service to our clients and
in turn guarantee you more work in the future.
For those who will be charging by the hour and not by piece
work or actual projects, as with the proofreading above, our agreeing to such
price terms is not the issuance of a blank cheque. We know how long tasks should
take, so if you take your time, work in less efficient ways and even inflate
your hours so as to cash in as much as possible from the get go (as some people
have done in the past), not only will we not necessarily honour your initial
charges, but it will set you on a bad footing with us. The beginning of our
cooperation is understood as a trial period and not a binding contract for
whatever invoice you choose to send us. The purpose of such cooperation is to
find people who are productive, efficient and honourable. This is the rock on
which we can build our services and offer something competitive and substantial
to our customers. Those employees who fulfill these conditions will be assigned
the most work.
What you can expect from us:
For payment and other related matters, please refer to our
Sometimes large projects, or if we have a lot of work, can tax our resources,
but generally we always try to be supportive and helpful. A translator is
expected to use the internet and other available resources to help them with
terminology and other issues, but we can also scour our database to look for
experts in particular fields, if you need help with something. Or we can help
you with formatting issues, such as can be found on our
translation tips pages, or help you with your computer, with specific issues
or refer you to our computer
tips pages. We are a team and we should work together to produce the best
possible product for the customer and ensure ourselves a steady stream of work.