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F.A.Q.


COSTS & PAYMENT

How can I request an estimate?

To request an estimate, please fill out the form in my contact page, if you have a file you can attach it to the form. | Back to top

How do you determine software/website localization prices?

It depends on what stage of development the program/website is in.

If it is in the planning stages and you want me to advise you during the development stage, the price will be per hour, varying according to the estimated amount of hours.

My standard rate starts at 30€ per hour.

If it is in beta or final release stages, I will need to arrange an e-meeting (VOIP, IM or chat) with your programming staff to determine:

  1. If text graphics, images and icons have been placed in resource strings.
  2. If the software references different resource libraries depending on the selected locale data.

If either of these is not true, you will need to decide if you want me to extract this information from the software (price per hour) or if you want your programming staff to do this.

I will also need to receive a copy of all help files; read-me files; user guides; audio files; packaging; warranty cards; software licenses and legal disclaimers. My normal rates apply here.

Once I have all this information I will prepare an estimate. | Back to top

How much will the editing cost?

My standard rate for editing starts at 0.05€ per word, but it varies depending on the total words, the type of material (technical or general), the medium (webpage, PDF, doc file, DTP, etc) and your deadline. | Back to top

How much will the proofreading cost?

My standard rate for proofreading starts at 0.035€ per word, but it varies depending on the total words, the type of material (technical or general), the medium (webpage, PDF, doc file, DTP, etc) and your deadline. | Back to top

How much will the translation cost?

My standard rate for translation starts at 0.10€ per source word, and 10€ per image, but it varies depending on the total words and images, the type of material (technical or general), the medium (webpage, PDF, doc file, DTP, etc) and your deadline.

There may be cheaper offers; however I would like to mention that below a certain level you are unlikely to receive a text that does credit to your company.

Please consider the following: How many pages do you think I can produce an hour? How much time do you expect me to spend preparing the text that will promote your company, product or service? How much time did your team spend producing the original? How much did it cost to develop the company, product or service you want to promote? How many people will be reading your texts? How would a flawed translation affect your company's corporate image? | Back to top

How soon will I have my estimate?

You will have your estimate in 24 hours, unless there are any problems with the files you send. If for some reason I cannot answer you in 24 hours, I will contact you to let you know when you will receive the estimate. | Back to top

I am ready to accept your estimate, what should I do?

Please send me an email confirming your acceptance of the estimate, I will prepare the translation contract and send it to you within 24 hours. Once you have received the contract, please sign it and fax it to me. | Back to top

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept payments via PayPal, Moneybookers or bank transfer. You will receive details for each option with your invoice.  | Back to top

When do I have to pay?

Normally, payment has to be made 7 days after receiving the translation. However, if it is a very lengthy project, I may require a deposit or partial payment; the payment conditions will be clearly stated in the estimate and in the contract. |  Back to top

Why do we need to sign a contract?

The contract will clearly state all the conditions of the translation, documents to be translated, completion date, terms of payment, confidentiality and delivery format.

A contract ensures that both parties understand and agree to all aspects of the translation, before the work is done; therefore avoiding any misunderstandings. | Back to top

Why do you charge per source word?

Translations can be charge per word (source or target), per character (source or target), per line (source or target), per page or per hour.

Personally I do not see the merit in charging clients per target (word, character, or line), as this could encourage some translators to be long winded and make translations excessively long, thus charging more for their work. The same goes for charging per hour. I am in no way saying that all translators who charge per target or hour do this, but why take any chances?

Some pages may be full of text, and some pages may hardly have any, so charging per page is not very accurate.

That just leaves me the options of charging per source (word, character or line). Of these options, I personally prefer word count as I believe it best reflects the work load. | Back to top

Why does my word count differ from yours?

I use a professional word counting program that counts all words in a text, many of my clients don't have access to this type of program and use the word counting option included in Microsoft Word.

Unfortunately, Microsoft's counter does not count all the words in a text; it does not count words in headers, footers, WordArt, embedded objects, etc. You can easily check this yourself by performing a simple test. Open a new document in Word and write one word in the header, one word in the footer, one word as WordArt, and finally place one word on the page. Now look at the word count. I would have to translate four words, but only one shows up in your word count.

I will send you a detailed report, from my word count program, with my estimate; indicating the total words per section. |  Back to top

Why does the price change depending on length, format, etc.?

Length, or total amount of words, is the most significant factor. I will charge more per word for a text with 1.000 words, then for a text with 10.000 words.

Your deadline will also affect the price; do I have to postpone other projects, work long hours or weekends?

The format of your document greatly affects the time it takes to translate it; a hand written document will take longer to translate than a Word file.

The format of the finished document can also affect the price, converting a file to an unusual format or into multiple formats, will require extra time and may require specialized software.

The complexity or level of specialist knowledge of the document, will determine the amount of time needed to translate it, it is easier to translate a newspaper article than the maintenance manual for a machine. | Back to top


FILES

How can I send a file if it is not in electronic format?

Please send me a fax or send it by regular mail, you can find all my contact details in my contact page.  | Back to top

How will you deliver the translation?

Unless you specifically request a delivery method, your translation will be returned via the same way it was sent, i.e. I will either email or fax it to you, depending on how you sent it to me. | Back to top

In what format will I receive the translation?

Unless you specifically request a different format, I will deliver your translation in the same electronic format you sent. If you did not send an electronic format, I will prepare the translation in whichever format you request. | Back to top

Your contact form only allows a file of less than 5 MB, my file is larger, what can I do?

Please send it to me via email, you can find my email in my contact page.  | Back to top


GENERAL

Do I need everything translated?

Rather than translate full documents decide which information your target audience (client, sales team, stockholders, etc) actually requires.

Are there redundancies or sections that do not apply to foreign customers?

You should only translate relevant sections of existing documents; or even better, produce shorter documents in your own language and have these translated. | Back to top

How can I prepare for translation from the start?

Use graphs, pictograms, diagrams, icons, maps, etc. They are far more effective than technical descriptions. This will make translating easier as there will be less text to translate; also, with fewer words your translation bill will be lower. For example, Ikea has stores in 29 countries and the instructions for their furniture assembly use mostly word-free diagrams, only the safety instructions are in words.

Choose your visual aids carefully; some images may not transfer correctly outside your country. Try to avoid local culture, references to your national food or hero may well fall flat, as well as local slang and sayings. If you need to keep these references, check with me to see if we can convey the message or if we have to find another medium.

Always include the country in all your addresses and the international calling codes for telephone and fax numbers. | Back to top

How can I prepare my software/website for translation from the start?

Ideally you will start planning for translation at the earliest possible stage of your project; preparing for translation from the start will guarantee the best possible result. Use my general guidelines for preparing for translation.

You should have translators as part of your development staff and you should program your code following these guidelines:

  1. Applications should have text, images, graphics & icons, placed as resources which are loaded during program execution as needed.
  2. The code should be built to reference different resource libraries depending on the selected locale data.

For an application to support multiple languages you must design it to select the relevant language resource file at runtime.

The code required to manage date entry verification and other locale-sensitive data, must support differing locale requirements.

Modern development systems and operating systems include sophisticated libraries for international support of these types.

Bear in mind that in order to successfully localize software, apart from the resource files we will also need to translate: help files; read-me files; user guides; audio; packaging; warranty cards; software licenses and legal disclaimers.

Don't worry if you did not plan ahead for localization, the software/website can still be successfully localized; whether you are in beta stage or final release it can be localized. It will just take longer and be more labor intensive. | Back to top

How can you translate into both English & Spanish?

Professional translators work into their native language, so normally they will only translate into one language. I am fortunate because my mother is British and my father is Spanish and I have lived, worked and studied in Spain, Cuba, Mexico, the UK and the USA. So not only have I spoken both languages since birth, I also know the cultures of both languages. | Back to top

I have a draft of the text, should I send that?

If I have to work on a draft and then on a final document, I am sure to spend more time and therefore it will likely cost you more money. If you have no choice, for example because of an approaching deadline, we will have to take extra measures to ensure there are no problems, you should time and date-stamp each version and clearly mark changes from one version to the next. | Back to top

I speak Spanish; can't I translate the text myself?

Even if you regularly speak Spanish, unless you are fully bilingual your written command will be "foreign". Your grammar and syntax will not be perfect. At best you may sound amusing; at worst you could be insulting. | Back to top

There are a lot of websites and programs that offer free translation, can't I use them?

They do seem to have advantages, they are fast and free.

Unfortunately they do not work very well and you run the risk of sounding inarticulate or worse, stupid.

You have to remember they are machines and as such cannot understand your message; they can only translate your words. That can cause quite a few problems with the resulting text, for example if you try Google Translator and translate "Everyone liked this book, but only a few people liked the other one" from English into Spanish, you will get this translation "Todo el mundo ha gustado este libro, pero sólo unas pocas personas les gustó la otra", which in English would read "Everyone has like this book, but only few people liked the other", sounds awful doesn't it? In Spanish it sounds even worse because book is a masculine word, and book is referred to as "este" (masculine) and as "otra" (feminine).

A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal tried two free online automatic translation services and concluded: "These services are passable for travelers or for those wanting to translate a letter from a distant cousin. I definitely wouldn't use them for business or anything that remotely requires accuracy."  | Back to top

Why do you need to know what I will do with the translated text?

Because the writing style, semantics, word choice, paragraph length and lots of other parameters will change depending on your intended use. It could be a brochure, a catalogue, a speech, a website, a news article, or a presentation. Is it targeted at doctors, housewives, technicians, men or women? All of these would require a different written approach. | Back to top

Why does the translated text have more/less paragraphs, lines, etc?

I offer accurate translations, ensuring that your message gets across in the way you intended. An accurate translation does not translate letters or grammar, it translates the message and meaning, it communicates.

No one will read your texts as carefully as I will. I may even be able to find sections that need clarifying, which will allow you to improve your original.  | Back to top


QUALITY CONTROL

My documents contain sensitive and confidential information, how can I be sure the information will remain confidential?

My privacy policy includes a Confidentiality clause, guaranteeing that none of the information you send me will ever be divulged; published; or given to third parties.

During my work process I use third parties to check the quality of the translation, they have all signed non disclosure agreements. | Back to top

What happens if I notice a mistake in the translation and you have to make corrections?

Although I strive for perfection and have a quality system to ensure high standard translations, I am human and I can make mistakes. In the unlikely event that an error does occur, I will drop all other jobs and prioritize the correction, returning the translation to you immediately and free of charge. | Back to top


WORKFLOWS

How long will the translation take?

Every job is different, and the nature of the text (general, technical, medical, etc) will determine how long the translation will take.

When I send you the job estimate I will include an estimated completion date, and once the estimate is accepted, the translation contract will clearly specify the delivery date. | Back to top

What is the workflow of software localization?

  1. If text has been placed in resource strings and the software references resource libraries depending on the selected locale data, I proceed to step 3.
  2. If step 1 is not true, I extract all text strings and make the necessary changes in the resource library programming.
  3. I extract all images, graphs, icons, etc., from the software and determine which need to be (& can be) localized.
  4. I check all variables, elements, functions, inputs & outputs, to determine which need to be adapted to the thinking patterns & customs of the target audience.
  5. I analyze the text and prepare the glossary.
  6. I send you the glossary for your approval, even if you don't understand the translated items, this step will let you see the words that compose your glossary. I will also include a list of all images, indicating which need to be localized, and if any of them can't be localized.
  7. I perform the translation of all text, including text in the program; help files; read-me files; user guides; packaging; warranty cards; software licenses; and legal disclaimers.
  8. I localize the images, graphs, icons, etc.
  9. I make the necessary changes in the variables, elements, functions & user inputs
  10. I check the text for grammar & spelling errors.
  11. I record the translated audio files using professional dubbing actors.
  12. A third party checks the translation, first just reading the translated text to ensure the translation is understandable; then comparing it to the original text to guarantee an accurate translation. At this stage the text has not been integrated back into the program.
  13. I either:
    1. Integrate the resources back into the program (if you sent me the program and I extracted the resources); or
    2. I send you the translated resources (if you had extracted the resources), and you send me a copy of the integrated program.
  14. I test & debug the localized software, checking all functionality & usability.
  15. I send you the localized software.
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What is the workflow of a translation?

  1. If there are any images, graphs, etc., and determine which need to be (& can be) localized.
  2. I analyze the text and prepare the glossary.
  3. I send you the glossary for your approval, even if you don't understand the translated items, this step will let you see the words that compose your glossary. I will also include a list of all images, indicating which need to be localized, and if any of them can't be localized.
  4. I perform the translation.
  5. I localize any images, graphs, etc.
  6. I check the text for grammar & spelling errors.
  7. A third party checks the translation, first just reading the translated text to ensure the translation is understandable; then comparing it to the original text to guarantee an accurate translation.
  8. I check that the translations formats, and text and image distribution, match the original.
  9. I send you the finished translation.
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What is the workflow of website localization?

  1. I analyze the website locating all the tags (title, meta, keywords, anchors, etc) and determine all the text that needs to be translated.
  2. I extract all images, graphs, icons, etc., from the website and determine which need to be (& can be) localized.
  3. I check all variables, elements, functions, inputs & outputs, to determine which need to be adapted to the thinking patterns & customs of the target audience.
  4. I analyze the text and prepare the glossary.
  5. I send you the glossary for your approval, even if you don't understand the translated items, this step will let you see the words that compose your glossary. I will also include a list of all images, indicating which need to be localized, and if any of them can't be localized.
  6. I perform the translation of all the tags and text.
  7. I localize the images, graphs, icons, etc.
  8. I make the necessary changes in the variables, elements, functions & user inputs
  9. I check the text for grammar & spelling errors.
  10. A third party reads the translated website, first just reading the translated website to ensure the translation is understandable; then comparing it to the original website to guarantee an accurate translation.
  11. I check that the translations formats, and text and image distribution, match the original.
  12. I test run the website, trying all the internal links & user inputs, to ensure they work correctly.
  13. I send you the localized website.
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