6. Tell us straight away if you notice an error

You don’t necessarily know all of us personally, but we’re generally a nice bunch. And as humans do, we sometimes make mistakes… so if you notice any error in an email or assignment – for example, the amount we should pay you is wrong, the number of words is implausible, or even the document we sent isn’t the one you expected (i.e. we sent you’re a divorce certificate instead of a birth certificate, or the birth certificate we sent is for a person whose name is very different to the one we gave you as preferred spellings), do let us know as soon as possible, i.e. before returning the translation as it is hard for us to do anything then.

7. Follow instructions

Some jobs are quite straight forward, others not so much. If anything is out of the ordinary, the project manager will specify this in the email that is sent to you and may also call you to make sure you understand what is expected from you. So please make sure that you carefully read our emails. And if you have any doubt, call us or send us an email.

For selective translations, your first port of call should be our Guidelines for Selective Translations. For full translations and revisions, we will update our guidelines, and provide some training.

8. Meet deadlines

It’s a no-brainer, really, but sometimes it’s worth reiterating. Our clients expect to receive their translations at a certain date – our reputation and business relationships may be hurt by our inability to meet their expectations. That is why meeting your deadline is key.

When we send you an assignment, we do our best to give you enough time to complete it. If for any given reason you can’t meet the deadline, or you think you would need more time to provide a high-quality service, let us know: we may be able to push the deadline; if we aren’t, we’ll need to assign the job to another linguist.

9. Follow our file naming conventions

We’ve already mentioned this in a previous issue of the newsletter, and some – alas not all – of you now follow our file naming conventions. Here’s a quick reminder: the name of a file should be made up of 3 parts:

  • the job number (0001, 0002_2 and so on);
  • followed by a space and the language other than English (Spanish, Hindi, Tagalog etc.);
  • followed by a space and the letter that corresponds to the stage the translation is at (T for translation, R for revised, and PF for panel final).

This is what your file names should look like: 0123_4 Urdu T.doc.

10. Take feedback into account

The reason why we send you feedback is to help you have a better understanding of our expectations, improve the quality of your work, and ultimately minimise the time we need to spend to bring your translations up to our standards. While we take the time to send you feedback, we expect from you that you will read our comments and take our recommendations onboard. We wouldn’t bother if we didn’t think it was worth it!


The ten golden rules are here to help us build and maintain a good working relationship. Make sure to follow them and you will inadvertently abide by the most important unwritten rule of all: keep your clients happy.

Because ultimately, happy clients and project managers are more likely to send you work.

Do you have one or several golden rules that you always follow? Leave a comment to tell us.