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Points to be careful of when offered translation jobs – Part 1 bY Japanese Translation Service


After veering off into some other topics over the last month or so, in the next few articles I would like to return to giving some advice to new or prospective translators.

by Japanese Translation Services

In the first part of the article, I will look at points you need to be careful of when deciding whether to take the job at all, and in the next part, I will look at things to consider when quoting for translation work.

Often, when you are offered a translation job, it will be in the form of whether you can do a certain number of characters (in the case of source Japanese text) in a certain period of time. You should be aware, however, that not all characters are equal.

The first issue is the content itself. Although the customer or Japanese translation service company may have given you the general field, the complexity of the content may differ wildly. There is nothing worse as a translator than realizing you have committed to translating something that you do not understand at all. Even if you are an expert in a subject, sometimes the writing may be so poor that it is virtually unreadable.

Another issue you may find is that, after committing to a job, you are sent the source document and the text is faint and hard (or impossible) to read. If text is just illegible in a few areas, you may be able to discuss whether you can just mark those areas as unreadable and translate the rest of the document. However, there may be times where the printing is such bad quality that you cannot understand the document at all. The same thing can be true if text is handwritten rather than printed.

The moral of this story is that you should make it standard practice to request to view the documents, or at least a sample, before accepting the job. There may be times when this is not possible, and in such a situation, it is wise to only accept the job conditionally and state that you will give final confirmation upon viewing the source material. The issues described above, complexity/poor writing and legibility, should also factor into translation price you offer to do the work at, and I will look at this in the next article.



About the Author
Simon Way is a contributing author to SAECULII YK, the owner of Translation Service Tokyo, Japan Visit SAECULII for the latest professional case studies, articles and news on Japanese Translation Service

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