Performing urgent translations doesn’t mean compromising on the quality of the translated texts. These days, work hours, task load, communication demands, and a series of other reasons, mean translation companies need to offer rush translation services in the lowest possible time. But it’s also important to ensure the quality of the texts they deliver.

What are urgent translations?

The term “urgent” can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the situation and each individual’s personal vision. Some people view an “urgent” translation as one that needs to be done in an hour, and others as one that’s needed from one day to the next. The word count and delivery time determine, among other things, the urgency of a translation. A translation company’s project manager is the one who determines the urgency of a translation job in terms of these and other variables. This is one of the characteristics of this type of translation that has to be taken into account both when offering or hiring services.

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It’s important to realize that those who provide urgent translation services have to know that oftentimes they’ll have to work outside of normal hours, put in extra hours, work weekends, or leave other jobs on the back burner to prioritize urgent work. They also have to take into account that not only is it necessary to deliver a translation job urgently, but also to offer the kind of quality the client expects when hiring the service. So it’s the responsibility of the company and the translation professionals who make up the team to deliver translation texts of the highest quality. So doing rush translations means offering the highest quality of service in the shortest possible time.

Characteristics of urgent translations

When urgent translations come up, we always face the same questions. For example: does a rush translation cost the same as a translation with a normal timeframe? Translation professionals, like people in any other profession, have normal work hours, commitments, pending jobs, and a long list of etceteras. So if they have to postpone the delivery of other jobs or work hours outside their normal schedule, obviously the fee for an urgent job can’t be the same as their usual fee for work. In this case, rush translations have a higher fee than non-urgent translations.

Another question clients ask themselves when hiring a rush translation is what does the quality of the final text depend on. As previously noted, how quickly a translation is done shouldn’t reflect on the quality. However, there are other factors that can interfere in production. First off, choosing the translation company and professionals who will take care of the translation is a key factor in ensuring the quality of urgent translations. In this case, when you need this type of job, the best thing is to choose an agency or a translation professional backed by their experience. Not all translators offer rush translations (and not all offer them at high quality).

Another element to consider is the complexity of the job. For example, translating a website isn’t as complicated as translating a clinical trial or a vacuum cleaner manual. The degree of specialisation of the text to be translated is definitely another key factor when performing an urgent translation and estimating the fee and delivery time.

As previously noted, obviously the length also affects the ability to translate a text in a short time.

Finally, it’s important for the client to communicate the real urgency of the job to the agency or professional translator; that is, it’s always preferable to establish a real timeline for rush translations so the professional is able to do the work without rushing it.

Generally, translation agencies offer personalised quotes that include not just the cost, but also the exact delivery time.

Examples of urgent translations

Performing urgent translations while preserving quality is one of the challenges those who work in the translation market have to face.

An example of when a translation may be needed in a short time is when the client has to move abroad to work or study. Generally, they’ll need their documentation translated urgently for this type of situation. For that, they’ll need sworn translators who can work quickly; this is another one of the most commonly requested kinds of rush translation.

Another example is that these days, companies do most of their communication over the Internet. Blogs, newsletters, comments, suggestions, and fan pages are the most commonly used communication methods used by institutions and companies to reach their potential customers. The web is also becoming a giant window to the world: people from different countries can visit a company’s website and become potential customers. That’s why companies see the need to translate their website, translate the company blog, or translate their newsletter to be sent to their customers. Rush translations are also very useful in these cases.

Another example of urgent translation services is those required by hospitals or medical centres when attending foreign patients. This is very common in big cities or tourist areas frequented by people of different nationalities. In some cases, the institution may turn to interpreters to help them determine what’s going on with a patient; however, if in the long term they need to deliver a report or an explanation of a treatment to the medical professionals in their country of origin, they can request urgent medical translations.