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How to make a successful translation?

Translation buyer's side

Translator's side

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How can you estimate translation time?

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Literary or scientific knowledge?

This question is as old as the technical translation itself. Unless you know a translator who is equally competent in both aspects, which is of course possible, common sense advises you to begin with determining the nature and specificity of the text to be translated. Your choice would then be made accordingly.

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Does automated translation work?

Here you should absolutely distinguish automatic translation from computer aided translation.

Automatic translation

Concerning automatic translation, and without trying to evade the question we can answer yes and no.

Computer Aided Translation (CAT)

Insofar as computer aided translation is concerned the results are much more interesting. The main idea consists in taking advantage of the previous translation work by storing sentences in a database. Such systems have been recently developed (we can mention here 2 software suites: TRADOS Workbench and STAR Transit ).

CAT advantages

CAT drawbacks

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Teamwork or single translator / agency or freelance?


Teamwork advantages

Team work drawbacks


Single translator advantages

Single translator drawbacks


Agency advantages

Agency drawbacks


Freelance advantages

Freelance drawbacks

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How can you take advantage of the Pdf format?

The Pdf format (Portable Document Format) is a data file format which has been designed by Adobe (http// to facilitate file distribution, quality visualisation and printing for all kinds of documents. Its utilisation has become universal, many files using this format are found on the Web, mainly for product brochures. This format is also very interesting for technical documentation preview and distribution because it has intrinsic strong qualities:

The pdf format cannot reasonably be used as a source format for working with documents that extend beyond a few pages. If there is no other available solution one must :

In both cases the overcost can be estimated at 50 % of the pure translation cost, furthermore, in the first case, no later reuse of the document can be envisaged, because it will not be in the translation memory.

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