Translation assignments

Good cooperation is the best guarantee of the quality of a translation. Authors of texts can benefit from the work of the translator, who provides a meticulous first reading of the text. A close working relationship with the language services will result in higher quality translation.

Checklist for translation assignments

1. Does your text really need translating?

First find out if there is an audience for the translated text or if it needs to be translated for other reasons. Perhaps the text only needs to be available in the original language.

Some documents in the Federal Administration have to be made publically available in the three official languages (German, French and Italian). It may be that internal documents with a limited readership can be distributed in the language they were written in.

Before asking for a text to be translated into English, make sure that there really is an English target audience for it.

2. Is the source text ready to be translated?

Do not send a draft text to be translated. Wait until the text in the source language has been properly revised and you have ensured it meets all the requirements, in particular in terms of length. These rules apply no matter which language you want your text translated into.

3. Have you agreed a deadline with the language services?

It takes time to translate a text. You should factor this in at the very beginning of your project, and let the language services know as soon as possible when the text will arrive and how many pages or characters it will contain. Also inform them if there are likely to be modifications to the source text during the translation process.
Finally, agree a realistic deadline with the language services. Don’t forget that the language services work with many clients, and so have to manage several assignments at the same time.

4. Have you provided all the necessary information?

Please provide the following information when sending a text for translation:

  • The name of the text author or a contact person who can answer questions that may arise during the translation process
  • The context and target audience
  • Any documentation relating to the text 

5. What do you need to do once the translation is complete?

When you receive the translated text, you need to put the final finishing touches to it – e.g. checking the layout.

Further information


Central Language Services Terminology Section
Gurtengasse 3
3003 Bern
+41 58 464 11 47

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