Besides the overall cost, the other most common question we get from customers is “how long does it take to translate my document?”.
And we understand. It’s only natural to want an ETA on your project, especially when the matter is time sensitive. We also have a well-designed workflow in place, so we can offer accurate time estimated on standard tasks such as birth/marriage/death certificate translations or other highly standardised documents.
However, things change when we are asked to work on an academic paper, website content, technical documents, or literary works. In these cases, we need to consider several variables that have a strong influence on the turnaround time.
Variables that Influence the Turnaround Time
Since these variables are universally valid regardless of the translation company with which you are working, we decided it’s best to go through each and explain how they can influence the translator’s efficiency.
Size & Complexity
If it took you several months to write a highly detailed paper, you shouldn’t expect it to be translated in a couple of days!
Larger projects require more work, and if the document contains abbreviations, technical terms, or highly specialised information, it may need the collaborative work of several translators. This also means that the quality checks will need to be more rigorous, as we need to make sure the translation overall tone is homogenous.
While we do work with native translators from all over the world, documents in rare languages may take a bit longer to complete. This, of course, depends on the availability of our collaborators and their capability to work on the document (if it fits their expertise).
The ETA may get a bit longer if we need to look for a new collaborator (which happens from time to time) that can cover a more difficult project.
Our team of collaborators includes people specialised in law, technology, finances, economics, and other fields. This allows us to accurately translate all sort of documents, regardless of their specialisation.
Still, sometimes it can be tricky to match the specialisation with the languages required by the customer. So, if you want us to work on a highly specialised translation, in a rare language, you should be prepared for longer turnaround time.
Level of Repetition
A large project that frequently uses the same words and phrases is easier to translate than one that presents new challenges on each page. As such, the turnaround time can be different for projects of the same size and complexity.
So, the only way to get a straight-up answer to the “how long does it take to translate my document?” question is to allow the translation team to do a thorough analysis of your project. It’s also important to communicate with the translator(s), highlight your goals and do everything in your power to make their job easier.