All you need to know about buying translations

15 useful tips for assigning translations plus the
secret to becoming a satisfied client

All done! The translation is ready to start working for you. Now the translator just has to send you the


payable within 30 days pursuant to Directive 2011/7/EU. If it has all the necessary information (supplier, client, work performed, date performed, date of issuing the invoice, invoice number, Tax ID No.), then you can proceed to the last step: paying the invoice in the manner agreed, usually by bank transfer, but sometimes (especially for smaller amounts) using internet services such as PayPal or Skrill.

Markéta’s Tip #12: Business relationships are built on honesty and reliability. Take note of invoice due dates, as they may differ from standard practice in your country.

After payment has been made and a few weeks have gone by, your translator may ask you for


They want to know if you were happy with the translation, if it works how you hoped it would and if you need assistance with anything else. If you were happy with their work, let them know! Write a review praising their work on their website or LinkedIn profile, pass their name on to your colleagues or friends, or at least tell the translator what you appreciated about working with them. Cultivate the relationship you’ve begun building and it will benefit you both if you work together again.

Markéta’s Tip #: If you are happy with your translator’s work, praise them and recommend them to others. Next time you need something, they’ll give your project the VIP treatment.

If you screened your translator carefully before starting this should not be a problem, but it does sometimes happen that a translator fails to deliver a job on time (without discussing it with you beforehand), fails to deliver at all, or delivers poor quality. If this unfortunate situation does arise, you will need to make a


The complaint should comply with the terms and conditions of both parties. If the complaint has merit, you can agree with the translator on correcting mistakes or reworking the translation, a discount, refunding the deposits already paid, etc. If you do not reach an agreement, the matter may need to be resolved in court. Lawsuits will be handled by courts in the country both parties agree on, or the country specified in their terms and conditions. The standard for determining applicable law in the European Union is Regulation 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) on the law applicable to contractual obligations (known as the Rome I Regulation).

Markéta’s Tip #14: Make any complaints necessary in a timely manner and without losing your cool. Most problems can be fixed.

Congratulations! You now know the main stars and planets, the most important bodies in the Galaxy of Translation, and how they orbit each other.

Now what about black holes, you might wonder. Does the Galaxy of Translation have any black holes? It does indeed. Black holes can take the form of poorly prepared, overly rushed and underpaid projects. Amateur translators without the knowledge and experience necessary to do the job well. Clients and agencies that refuse to pay their translators, blackening the reputation of translation as a profession in their pursuit of profit at any cost.

Machine translation tools can also be black holes. Neural networks and ever-improving algorithms may help you read a label or Facebook comment in another language, but are hardly reliable tools for translating complex content. They are certainly no match for Czech morphology, with its system of prefixes, suffixes, word endings and flexible word order.

Black holes swallow up your money, time and energy, and give you nothing in return. If you follow the advice in this guide, you should be able to steer clear of them.

To be continued…

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