How to Order Translation Services


When you order a translation, there are questions you must be able to answer if you want to get what you need. The answers form a translation brief that allows the translation agency to understand the whole context of your content, not just its literal meaning.


  • source language
  • target language (and variety, if applicable)
  • word count
  • deadline

Target group and market:

  • target market (country, region, city, if relevant)
  • target group type (consumer, company, etc.)
  • target group (consumer: age, marital status, employment, income, education, etc., if relevant; company: size, industry, if relevant)

Context and approach:

  • the context of the content (marketing: social media, website, print, etc.; sales: ToFu, MoFu, BoFu; education: online course, tutorial, blogpost, etc.)
  • specification whether it is a standalone piece (if it is part of a larger whole and there are reference materials, attach or provide links)


  • guidelines – yes/no (attach)
  • reference materials, links, etc. – yes/no (attach)
  • other – specify

This process is easier than it looks. Whoever orders a translation knows the answers to most of these questions. Seeing this list may also help you remember other project-specific information that you would like to share with translators. This list is only here to show you that bringing all of the information together in a translation brief is not a difficult task. It can, however, greatly improve the quality of translations and speed up the process, as fewer questions will have to be asked and answered along the way.

Text: Bringing all the information together in a translation brief is easy. A brief improves translation quality and speed.Who should be responsible for answering these questions? It is advisable for the translation coordinator to distribute this questionnaire to all units that may order translations – this way they can send the completed questionnaire with the translation files. If, however, the units forget about the questionnaire, the translation coordinator can prompt whoever orders the translation to answer these questions – either in writing or over the phone.

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