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Working Methods

What follows is the guidance adopted by all Eupharia members. You may have seen it – or a version of it – in the literature of other organisations. We have always stated that this is copyright material that may be freely used by anyone provided that there is mention of Eupharia member Euronet as the author.


The essentials of good translation management are as follows:

Black and white check (aspects of basic importance)

  • completeness - Is everything there? Has everything that is required been translated?
  • correct transfer of meaning - Is the translation accurate?
  • spelling - Are names and abbreviations correct? Has the text been spellchecked electronically?
  • numbers - Are these correct? Decimal commas?
  • layout - Is it as requested by the client and in the correct program?
  • font - Is the text in the font requested by the client?
  • printing - Can the client print your translation with all the accented or other characters? (particularly important for Eastern Europe)

Grey check (areas open to discussion with client or personal opinion)

  • terminology - Have you used the client-preferred terms?
  • consistency of terminology - Have the same terms been used throughout? Have you referred to previous translations or used other reference texts?
  • style - Is the text readable?
  • register - Is the text suitable for its intended purpose?

Commercial checks

  • compliance with client’s instructions - Have you done what client has asked?
  • delivery - Is it on time? How does the client want the text delivered?
  • cost/price - Is this as agreed? Have you followed the invoicing instructions?
  • professional handling of translation queries - Don’t guess the answer, or hope, but find out! Ask your client for assistance or decision.
  • attitude to client - Be willing to meet client’s needs from first enquiry to dealing with problems, complaints or PC/transmission difficulties. Keep client informed - timely notification is essential, especially if there are problems over delivery or price.
  • virus check - Have you checked that the job is virus-free before returnin

Translation Methodology

The following is a summary of our Translation Methodology, with relevant statements of our current practice made as bullet points

Assessing texts

  • customer asked about the nature of the task
  • client requirements established to understand exactly what is wanted
  • advice and guidance to clients
  • no aspect of task left unmentioned
  • guidance by in-house translator about subject area involved
  • recommendation by in-house translator on most suitable type of translator for the text
  • where no in-house competence, client or external translator with knowledge of the language asked for more detailed subject description
  • price and delivery discussed with client
  • check source text for completeness, corruption, readability
  • note the font requested by the client
  • check the client can print the translation with all the accented or other characters (particularly important for Eastern Europe)

Assigning texts

  • texts only given to translators with proven ability and relevant subject knowledge
  • no novices used - only experienced translators
  • in-house database consulted
  • other directories consulted, if required
  • subject competence matched with language competence and proven ability
  • if a new translator is used: test translation/sample of work required or first batch conditional
  • client feedback taken into account
  • continuity factor taken into account
  • translator always contacted - no work sent out blind
  • accurate description of the requirements given to translator
  • check for compatibility of software systems – with client and supplier
  • no aspect of task left unmentioned
  • in-house translator discusses with external translator if more detailed brief needed on the subject
  • where applicable, revision by subcontracted translation team is a contractual requirement in the purchase order

Consistency of terminology

  • in-house databases compiled and updated for each job
  • background/reference material supplied to translator
  • same translator used for similar jobs/jobs on same theme
  • questions answered by in-house translator
  • client consulted if questions cannot be answered in-house
  • on large projects translators and revisers work as internal/external team in contact with one another to ensure consistency

Monitoring performance

  • quality control applied at every stage in the process

Client database

  • contact details
  • standing instructions
  • preferences
  • record of work

Supplier database

  • contact details
  • languages
  • subjects
  • rates
  • comments/assessments
  • record of work

Job database

  • contains all details about every job
  • special instructions are entered on the printed supplier purchase order
  • schedule of dates due/received
  • instructions to suppliers
  • compilation of purchase orders
  • batch monitoring and control
  • jobs linked with client and supplier

Performance management

  • only experienced translators used
  • all work revised and proofread, unless otherwise agreed with client
  • black and white errors eliminated
  • translators encouraged to share problems and doubts
  • guesswork by translators expressly discouraged
  • problem-solving using in-house expertise or in consultation with others
  • client involved in problem-solving
  • constructive criticism - translator ALWAYS given feedback and guidance if he/she has misunderstood/misinterpreted the text
  • translators issued with leaflets stating our expectations and working methods
  • quality scan of text undertaken
  • output of internal staff monitored for quality by colleagues
  • internal scan of external revisers' work - approved or overruled
  • overall compliance check
  • virus toolkit

Meeting deadlines

  • accountability and contractual term
  • schedule calculated to ensure timely delivery
  • only translators with proven ability to meet deadlines used
  • translator given deadline to allow enough time for revision and proofreading in-house before final translation sent to client
  • return times/schedules constantly monitored by Production Department
  • translators asked for progress report
  • internal and external translators chased if falling behind schedule
  • remedial action taken to correct problems
  • if a deadline cannot be met, for whatever reason, client advised immediately
  • amendments from client incorporated and schedule adjusted, if necessary
  • rapid recovery of data ensured in the event of a disaster
  • progress reports to client

Urgent translations

  • more than one translator used if length of document warrants this
  • document divided into appropriate sections, sufficient to ensure highest quality within the timescale, if applicable
  • translators in touch with each other to ensure consistent terminology
  • all batches checked in-house to ensure accuracy and consistency between batches
  • shortcuts to quality control discussed and agreed with client
  • tighter programme control of all suppliers
  • caveats to client, if appropriate

Clients and translation companies have come to expect certain quality standards from their corporate suppliers, which we call “5-eye translation”:

2 eyes to do the translation
2 eyes to check the translation
1 eye to “cast an eye over” the translation before delivery

5 eyes