How to Deal With Urgent Translations

Urgent translations and tight deadlines are part of the work-life of any translator regardless of his language combination or place of employment. While such projects may be quite stressful and require the deployment of more resources, there is a way to deal efficiently with them.  

For the business, it is important to find a trusted translation partner who will be able to provide timely service without compromising the high quality and accuracy of the translation. For the service provider, it is important to live up to the customer's needs without overloading the translators they work with. So, both sides need to take a few steps that will facilitate the translation process and help meet the urgent deadline without affecting the intrinsic elements constituting the service. 


What can the client do? 

As a client who needs urgent translation, there are a few things that you can do in order to facilitate the process.  

  • Provide editable documents 

Providing editable documents will not only speed up the translation process but often results in the client paying a lower price. When the translator doesn’t have to allocate time to editing and formatting the document, it means that they will spend all the time focused on the translation itself.  

  • Provide references and give instructions 

Be precise and specific to what exactly you need. If you have any preferences regarding the way terminology should be translated or the specific translation/transcription of your company name in a given language, for example, make sure to inform the translator of your wishes. It is easier to work when there are specific instructions and that means fewer changes once the translation is ready. 

If you have any other documents that are already translated or a glossary of terms or any other material that can be used as a reference, send it to the translation agency as well. This will facilitate the work of the translators and will help speed up the delivery time.  

  • Be ready to provide any additional information and answer questions  

Make sure to provide the contact details of a person from your company who will be in charge of the translation project. While this is necessary for all translations, it is imperative for an urgent one. Stay open to answering any questions and provide further clarifications on the document so that you can facilitate the translation.  

Keep in mind that these factors can speed up the translation process in general and also guarantee better quality. Therefore, it is a good idea to follow the tips above regardless of the type of translation you need.  


What can the language service provider do? 

In order to speed up the translation, a Language Service Provider (LSP) can also make use of certain practices. Assigning more than one translator to the project is one of the options, especially if the text that needs to be translated is quite lengthy. In this case, however, the proofreader is a must since no two translators will use exactly the same style and wording for a translation. The proofreader will make sure that the final text runs smoothly. 

Using computer-assisted translation tools is also a good idea, as long as they are used wisely and help the translator. 

Creating a database with references, glossaries, and information for each client is also essential. This will help tremendously in the event of urgent translations. 

The translation project manager should be in constant communication with the translators, making sure that all of their queries are promptly referred to the client. It is advisable to use the phone for asking questions rather than e-mail as it speeds up the answering time or at least to notify the client over the phone that you will send an e-mail with questions that need urgent answers.  

As a translator, you need to properly organize your working time and keep track of any questions you may have. Do not be afraid to ask for further clarification if in doubt, as this can be vital for the overall turnover time and project quality.  


Elements of a successful urgent translation project 

In order for an urgent translation process to be successful, the LSP needs to incorporate several elements in the process. While the procedures may vary between the different agencies, their overall goal is to guarantee speed and quality in one. To achieve this, the service provider needs to: 

  • Guarantee a delivery date 

The deadline is what makes a translation project urgent and it is important that the LSP can guarantee that they can meet it. Providing a high-quality translation takes time, so it is necessary to make sure that you have the resources to meet the delivery date agreed with the client. To guarantee a deadline and meet it every time is what makes an LSP trustworthy and a preferred partner.  

  • Maintain efficient communication 

Efficient communication is critical especially when it comes to urgent translations. This is a commitment by both sides – to answer queries as soon as possible so that the work can keep going smoothly. To ensure this, the agency appoints a translation coordinator or manager who is in charge of the entire process and keeps in contact with both clients and translators.  

  • Implement quality assurance 

Regardless of the translation project length or duration, the quality of the translated texts needs to be guaranteed. A quality assurance system needs to be in place. This will guarantee that the translated text's style, format, and overall quality meet the company requirements.  

Successful translation cooperation is a key factor for the quality execution of any translation project. When it comes to urgent translations, the client needs to be very clear and specific in their requirements, while the LSP should be realistic in what they promise. Good communication and readiness to respond to any type of queries are also a necessity when it comes to dealing with urgent translations. Experience in the field and a good team of translators is one of the main assets of an LSP when it comes to delivering high-quality translations over a tight deadline.  


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