FAQ: your translator answers…


How much will my translation cost?

The price is based on the volume to be translated (in words), but other factors need to be taken into account: subject, style, end use… In certain cases, it makes more sense to apply an hourly rate or a fixed price per file.

To know more, read the article The Art of Translation

Will you give me a reduction for a large volume?

Not necessarily! My price reflects the overall nature of the project. The volume is only one factor in my calculations. Finding my way around huge files is not always straightforward and ensuring consistency of terms and style requires meticulous attention. Nevertheless, if there are repeated sections that will make my work easier, the price will take this into account.

How and when do I pay?

You will normally receive an invoice with the translation, to be paid by cheque or bank transfer within 30 days at the latest. Translations for regular clients are billed at the end of the month. For a new client, I prefer to receive a deposit (or the full sum, if small) on confirmation of the order. Large volumes of work can be invoiced in part-payments or monthly installments. Literary translation on which royalties will be payable requires a specific contract.

See my Terms and Conditions

What format should I send the text in?

I prefer to receive texts as Word documents, but I can also work with Excel and PowerPoint formats. PDF documents can be difficult to work with, especially when more than two or three pages, though they are often useful as reference images.

How long will my translation take?

In the interests of quality, I limit my capacity to 2,000 words per day and a maximum output of 10,000 words per week. I am not able to guarantee my availability at short notice, so please try to order your translation as soon as possible.

To know more, read the article The Art of Translation

Why not just use Google Translate?

Machine translation can give the gist of a text. If several examples of a similar kind are already on the internet, the translation might well be passable. But even advanced MT programmes are unable to grasp nuances or notice their mistakes, which can be horrendous. If you put a text back and forth through one of these programmes a number of times, the results can be surprising, sometimes almost poetic, but still completely unwitting. In any case, their efforts can never be any better than the quality of the online samples on which their translations are based. It’s the old story: rubbish in – rubbish out.

Some words appear not to have been translated – why?

You may well notice that the equivalents of some words are missing in the translation. This is quite normal! Translating word-for-word rarely gives a natural result and is often the sign of a “non-native” translation. Natural English does not always need to add the little words so characteristic of good French: alors, or, donc, de X et de Y, aux A et aux B… The two languages do not always divide ideas into the same categories: the French word pâte translates as “dough” for bread, “batter” for pancakes, “pastry” for a tart, etc. The conventions of page layout and punctuation are slightly different, too.

If I send a small sample, will you be able to give me a quote?

I can always give an indication of how much a job might cost on the basis of a sample, but I will need to see the whole text to know how much research time might be needed, or to check that there is not a problem lurking on page 31, for example. I cannot commit to a firm price or delivery time until I have seen the whole document.

I invite you to download this free Client Guide (PDF).