Spring is here and love is in the air. So let’s look at some practical advice on how you, as a buyer of localization services, can make life a little easier for your localization vendor and save money, headaches and time for yourself.

1. Specify the flavor of the languages required. Spanish used in Spain and Spanish used in Mexico are quite different, and so are the translation rates for them. Also, there is no such language as “Chinese” in the world of translation. There is either Simplified or Traditional script used for writing, and many distinct dialects, the most common ones being Mandarin and Cantonese. If you are not sure which one you need, ask!

2. Provide source files. Yes, it is possible to translate text from a scanned JPEG or PDF, but it means transcribing it first. And yes, it is possible to replace English text with Japanese one on an image by plastering the old one over. And yes… both these options cost more, take longer and can introduce new errors. It really is much better to work with actual source files where the text and any other content can be edited directly.

3. Send the final versions of files. This happens often. We receive one set of files, create a quote based on it, and then the client adds another file or two, or removes three, or updates five and changes the languages needed for the first set. Sooner or later, with several quote versions flying around, it is easy to get confused and the two sides end up talking about different scopes. When possible, please finalize the files, before sending them for quotation.

4. Inform in advance when a new request is coming or when a project may be kicked off. When do clients want their translations done? ASAP, most of the time. And we understand, we really do, and like every vendor we will do all we can to deliver as quickly as possible, and without any mistakes of course. But is there something the client can do to speed up translation, other than ask “Is it done yet?” every day? Yes, there is. If we know that a translation job is coming, we can line up translators, editors, project managers, and whoever else is needed, so they can get started without any delay the moment we have the signed quote, and thus finish faster too.

5. Show appreciation when it’s deserved. Andovar handles hundreds of jobs every month, some small, some big, some for old clients and some for new ones. In every project, there are several people involved. They all do the best they can to meet the clients’ expectations in terms of quality, time and price. Sometimes they succeed in a spectacular fashion, sometimes not so much. But if they do manage to send you that last file at 11:30pm on Friday night, do tell them you appreciate it. They will love you back for it.