Commissioning Translation Work

Translating is difficult and time-consuming work. If you want to have a text translated, you can contribute greatly to a successful result by communicating your wishes clearly when commissioning the work. The following checklist offers some helpful advice:

Checklist When Hiring a Translator

  • Make sure your original text has been edited and is final before sending it to a translator.
  • Please ask your translator/translation service provider to read Translating for UZH.
  • Translators/translation service providers who use CAT tools (computer-assisted translation tools) should ask for an electronic version of the UZH termbase which we can provide them with.
  • Use of US orthography is official UZH policy. Please discuss any departures from US spelling with us.
  • Be sure to discuss formatting if it is important.
  • Name a contact person for the translator/translation service providers in case there are any questions concerning meaning or terminology.
  • It is a good idea to provide reference material – including online information or published articles related to your subject.
  • Make your wishes and goals as clear as possible: Do you want a literal translation? Or rather a loose translation that may read more naturally in English? Do you have any stylistic requests or preferences?
  • Don't forget to discuss editing the translated text: Who will edit the translation? Will you or someone in your department proofread the translation? Should the translation be completely edited upon submission?
  • Decide on price and payment modalities prior to sending the text.
  • Agree on a realistic deadline.

What you can expect of a translation

  • Correct translation of content
  • Correct grammar, orthography, punctuation
  • Stylistic equivalence

What you shouldn't expect of a translation

A text that is exactly how you would have written or translated it.

If you are not satisfied with a translation

  • Don't correct! Write down the general reasons for your dissatisfaction, or underline the areas in question.
  • Contact the translator/translation service provider and return the translation with your feedback.
  • If desired, call the Communications Office to discuss the problems. We will be happy to assess the quality of a translation.