3 Tips for working with a translator

Did you take some time in December to start planning your content for 2021? Have you given any thought to what content you’ll be creating and sharing with your clients, donors or employees?

Depending on whether you’re a business or a non-profit, you might want to revamp your website, be more consistent with blogging, sending out newsletters or featuring your fundraising campaigns. You might also decide to create or update HR documents such as job descriptions, employee manuals and contracts.

No matter what content you create, you know that having this content also available in French will be a must to communicate with your francophone clients, donors or employees. You also know that relying on team members to translate your content takes time away from what they are really hired to do.

That’s when a professional translator is your best bet. However, when it comes to finding and working with such a professional, where do you start?

If you landed here, I’ve got you covered!

If it’s your first time working with a translator or if you have a new translator on board, get to know this new person. Start by asking if they work for themselves or an agency, if they work evenings and weekends, if they’re available for last-minute emergencies, or anything pertinent to your organization.

Once you’ve decided to work with this translator, here are a few must-do’s and must-have’s:

  • Have your content ready: This means that the document to be translated needs to be final. Don’t send any updates a few hours or days later, unless previously agreed. If the document needs to be proofread, and no one on your team is available to do that, a translator might offer that service too, for an extra fee. Check before


  • Send your document(s): When your document is final and ready to go: Create a new message in your inbox, insert the translator’s email address (julie@juliebourbeau.com is a good one 😊) and attach the document to be translated or quoted. (If you’ve worked with this person before, you might skip the quote part)


  • What to also include when sending: In your subject line, you can include Translation request and the name of the document or something similar. In the body of the email, always include your deadline, that is a reasonable date you’d want to get the translation by. On average, a translator will translate 2,000 words per business day. However, it’s likely that your translator will be serving 5 different clients in that same week, and juggling more than one project. Keep in mind that a good turnaround time is 2-3 business days for small documents

There you have it! In a future article, I will cover what to expect when working with a professional translator. In the meantime, please check out this article on 4 Reasons you should invest in professional translation services.

Do you know of a business or non-profit looking to reach out to the francophone market? Email them a copy of this article and invite them to book a free consultation.

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