Hands up if you’ve ever had to complete a translation project “for yesterday”. Right. In today’s fast-paced world more and more clients need their translations for te proverbial ASAP. At the same time, the sad reality is that a lot of people are unaware of what it takes to translate a document. Many assume translators merely exchange words or believe that any bilingual individual will be capable of translating any type of text.
The truth is that performing a standard translation job can be a mundane and time-consuming activity. With rush translations, which interfere with your sleep, leisure time or weekend plans, it can get more frustrating both for you and your family. Therefore, it seems reasonable and quite understandable to charge extra for jobs that needs to be done quickly.
What exactly are rush translations?
There’s no one clear definition. Usually, the term refers to jobs that need to be completed on the same day, or within 24 hours. But it can be different for each translator or translation agency. The final cost depends on the size of the translated text, its subject matter, the number of translators involved, specialized vocabulary and many other factors. Higher price for rush translations is also dictated by a greater amount of work. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is your schedule. It’s often the case that a translator needs to reorganize their work, so that the urgent project becomes the most important one. If, on the other hand, you’re fully available, you might want to stick to your standard pricing scheme.
How much more should you charge? Again, it’s difficult to give a simple answer to this question. Numerous aspects need to be taken into account here. The volume of the document, specialized language, how tight the deadline is – to name just a few. If taking the rush project on requires you to rearrange your work on other jobs, it should also be reflected in your rate. Not to mention, if you need to hire someone else to help you. The final price might also be different, if it’s a job from one of your regular clients. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here.
Rush translations: risks and challenges
No specialist in any field likes to do his job under time pressure. Translation services are no exception. Translating a document faster than normally will always be subject to more mistakes. Though sometimes it’s possible to minimize this risk – by involving more than one translator and a proofreader in the process, you can never eliminate it altogether. That’s why many translation agencies openly state that assignments with extremely short deadlines are not subject to complaint.