The urgency of a translation is one of the most important criteria for the success of this type of service. One way or another, a translator has to find extra reserves in order to meet the deadline set by the client. If in a quiet atmosphere, a translation would take approximately 5-6 days, in practice, we have to squeeze it down to 4 or even 3 days.
An experienced translator has in his/her professional arsenal of skills, which can dramatically increase the amount of work performed without any significant loss in quality. Although you won’t be able to use these methods full-time, they can help you get your texts delivered on time.
Rush translation: pros and cons
Not all translators are prepared to accept rush jobs, choosing to focus on maximum quality at the expense of higher pay. Urgent translations are quite a specific type of service. To provide it in a professional manner, you need to be highly organized and very communicative. The customer sometimes overlooks the small imperfections of the finished work in order to focus on the essentials.
Urgent translation is an opportunity to earn more, since the client simply has no time to look for a cheaper translator. However, deadlines are a constraint on everything. Not everyone knows how to combine quality and speed in translation.
When placing an urgent order, you are not expected to achieve the highest level of craftsmanship, but a reasonable level of translation quality should be maintained at all times. There are three main factors which affect the speed:
Subject matter. Complex technical text with lots of terms is not the best option to speed up. Otherwise, you may make fundamental errors which will cause the end result in your being rejected by the vendor.
Quality of the original. The source text itself may contain various inconsistencies and illiterately worded places. Digging in the database and working through not quite close to the subject matter can take a lot of time.
Translator’s qualifications. The more quality translations you produce, the higher your skill level is.
How can you mitigate these factors and speed up translation? Learn, learn, and learn again. Only through extensive experience and constant self-development will you become a true professional. 2-3 pages of text per hour is the objective limit for a translator. You can write faster but you can hardly think faster. Even the most urgent assignment must be done deliberately. It is better to extend the deadline than to give the customer a low-level job.