I love working for Interlex. They treat me like a human being, not a translation machine!”
Erik, Interlex translator for Swedish since 2006
Though we work with a fixed and dedicated team of translators, it does happen every now and then that we need a new addition to our team. If you are a translator seeking work, you would be wise to read the below before sending us an application. We are not like many other companies! We expect the following from you:
You are willing to be paid by the hour
Interlex is one of the few philanthropic translation companies that pays by the hour, rather than per word. We feel this is fairer. Sometimes, a text features many details that need to be looked up, such as works of art or city names. Your translation will then take longer than usual, and we feel that you should be paid for that time. On the other hand, sometimes a translation will be very similar to one that you have done before, meaning you can translate it really quickly. Many translation agencies will then carry out difficult calculations involving statistics and “fuzzy matches”. For us, it is very simple; you just measure the time it took you, and if there are lots of (fuzzy) matches, your time will be quicker. No statistics or difficult calculations necessary!
Of course, we do have certain rules of thumb about how long a text should take you. Some translators get stuck into details and end up spending, say, three hours on half an A4 of text – we obviously cannot charge this to the client, so we would then have a word with you.
You are a creative translator
As you will be able to read on the rest of this site, Interlex is specialised solely in creative translations: translations that run smoothly and that are localised for the people in your country. We expect your writing style to be fluid and pleasant, not a literal translation, but a translation that will appeal to the target audience from your country. In short, we want the readers of your translation to not realise it is a translation. As far as they are concerned, the text was directly written by someone from their country, and whatever the product is, they want to buy it!
We also expect you to note any problematic areas of the source text, such as matters that are culturally sensitive in your country, or matters that nobody from your country would understand, and to give the client a suggestion for a solution. We expect you to do this in a time-efficient manner, so rather than e-mailing back and forth about one sentence, we would want you to add a note in the document stating the problem and suggesting a few solutions for the client to choose from.
You are flexible
Most of our clients are big companies who send us texts for translation very regularly, often multiple texts a week. One of the services we offer our clients is that they can send us urgent translations, texts that need to be translated within, say, 24 or 48 hours, at no extra cost. Another service that we offer is that we have a very low minimum charge (10 minutes) for short translations.
Our unique workflow system means you can very easily accept or reject a translation with the press of a button. If you are ill, or very busy with another project, you can simply click “decline” and we will send the job to one of your colleagues instead. However, if we notice that you always reject the short translations and the urgent translations, and only ever accept the long, non-urgent translations… well, then we will feel you are not being very fair to us or to your colleagues. In short, we expect you to be open to helping us out every now and then.
You are open to receiving feedback
Nobody is perfect, which is why proofreaders exist. At Interlex, these are usually translators who have worked for us many years and who know the client and the expected style. Every so often you will be sent feedback on your translation. The proofreader will not only look at punctuation mistakes and typos, but will also comment on your style. In our experience, not all translators are able to deal with this. We want you to be able to learn from feedback and improve, and not, to put it informally, “freak out”.
Just to assure you we are not unreasonable: We alternate proofreaders, we do not rely on the opinion of only one person. If you get feedback that you feel is absolutely unfair, we will ask for a second opinion. But if you come back to us again and again with “100 reasons why the proofreader was wrong” type texts, well, then we will have to rethink our relationship. If you already know you are very bad at handling feedback, perhaps it is best not to apply!
You are a human being
Please note that we only work with individuals, not with other agencies. If you are an agency, please save yourselves and us time and do not contact us. This does not apply to individuals who work under a trade or company name.