A text presented for translation is usually the result of a lengthy and extensive process of work. The translator has not taken part in this process and therefore does not have - at least to start with - the same insight into and understanding of the message to be communicated. That is why it is important to allow the translator adequate time to acquaint himself/herself with the task in hand.
How long a translator requires to work on a set amount of text depends on many factors - not least familiarity with the subject area and the terminology used in that area.
In general, a translator will be able to translate an average of 5 or 6 pages of text a day.
This is a very rough rule of thumb, but it will at least enable you to estimate approximately how long a specific translation will take.
Remember that, in cases where a client is unable to provide existing terminology, it will also often be necessary to allow some time for the translator to establish and compile a wordlist before commencing a translation.
The differences between various types of text can be extremely great. When translating advertising and marketing texts it may be necessary to adapt the message to Norwegian conditions.
When translating operating instructions for sophisticated machinery, it may be necessary for the translator to see the machine in operation, or to be sent a video which clearly demonstrates all the various functions.
Once the translation itself has been completed, the text must be read and commented upon by a second person who has not translated it. After this the translator needs to carry out a final check, preferably one or two days later. Allowing ideas and formulations to “mature” in this way is an excellent safeguard that enables a translator to identify any expressions that require “fine-tuning” before delivery.