your message, in English
1. A communication
transmitted by words,
signals, or other means
from one person, station,
or group to another.

2. The substance of such
a communication; the
point or points conveyed.

Commissioning work

If you have a French text and need only the vaguest idea of what it contains, you could try using Babel Fish to translate it, for free. However, for most texts, it will be obvious to a native English speaker that the result contains mistakes, or is ungrammatical, or even completely nonsensical. Moreover, this kind of machine translation can appear to create quite sensible results that just need polishing - while in fact those 'sensible' results contain mistranslations that mean something entirely different from the original.

If you want to avoid mistakes like that and commission a professional translator, it's a good idea to have certain details available so that the translator can advise if they're the right person for the job, and what the cost would be:

  • How long is the document, roughly - how many words?
  • What is the subject matter?
  • Who will the translation be for?
  • What format is the original in - on paper, in a Word document, in HTML files, or other?
  • What is the deadline for the translation?
  • Does the translation need to comply with any existing 'house style' or terminology, and if so, are reference materials available?
  • Who is available to answer queries from the translator about the original?


There is no standard, simple formula you can apply to work out what any translation will cost. I quote the fairest price I can for a given commission, based on information such as that listed above. My rates will not be the lowest you can possibly find - but you can be sure that if you do commission work for the lowest possible rates, you will not get the best possible quality. Good translations aren't cheap, but bad translations can cost you much more in lost business, tarnished reputation, expensive misunderstandings with customers, and so on.

If you'd like me to quote for some work, please click here for contact details.