Latest from the blog

Posted on14 February 2017

Translation Agency Tips: #44: Working with International Translations and Clients

Atlas Translations, International Translations, St Albans, London, Clare Suttie

Due to the intrinsic nature of the translation industry, it is almost inevitable that sooner or later, whether it be frequently or rarely, you’ll be working with someone based in a different country to you.

This blog will hopefully provide you with some tips on working with international translations for clients based abroad, and give some advice on how to protect your own interests.


Working with international clients might be essential for you. It will very much depend on the language combination(s) you work in, and what the markets are like on the countries of those languages. Doing some research could be beneficial in trying to find out if there is a particular demand for your services in certain countries. Where you are based can be very important to clients when they’re trying to place translation assignments with translators.
For example, a German native speaking legal expert living in London could be better placed to translated British legal documents into German than a translator based in Berlin. This is because being based in Britain, they should have better knowledge of the British legal system. Bear this in mind when trying market yourself to international clients – what are the pros and cons of where you are currently based?

Time Zones

Be aware of time zones! It may be stating the obvious but when a client sets a deadline, it is always best to check you are on the same wavelength when it comes to time zones. First thing tomorrow your time or their time? If you find you are getting more regular work from clients in a different time zone, perhaps consider changing your working hours to fit those. We work with translators based all over the world. We know a couple based in the UK who work later working hours because a lot of their business comes from Latin America. Also be aware of the difference in time zones when you have queries.

Getting Paid

Of course, getting paid is the most important part of any job. So establish before you commence with any work what currency you’ll be paid in. Also, confirm how you are going to be paid. Unfortunately international payments can incur charges so you can set yourself up a PayPal account to minimise any costs. Getting international clients to pay on time can also be a worry. What’s even worse is when they don’t pay at all. All we can say here is be careful.
Do your research on the company, make sure there is a registered address and landline telephone number. Check the company is registered. It can be very difficult to get money owed to you from clients based internationally. Sometimes this is due to different laws in other countries. If you have a bad feeling about a project (and this goes for working with companies based in the same country as you as well!) don’t be afraid to walk away and turn the project down!

ATC – Full membership of the ATC (Association of Translation Companies).

CIEP – Corporate membership of the CIEP (Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading) since 1993.

Corporate membership of the ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) since 1994. Corporate Member of the Year 2021.

ISO 17100 – ISO 17100:2017 for Translation Services (since this standard began, in 2008, externally audited annually).

ISO 9001 – BS EN ISO 9001:2015 (certified since 2003, externally audited annually).

Living wage employer – As a living wage employer, we believe our staff deserve a wage which meets every day needs.

Mindful employer

Mindful employer – We are a mindful employer, working toward achieving better mental health at work.


Disability confident committed – We are Disability Confident Committed, ensuring our recruitment, communications and support are inclusive and accessible.

4-day week

4-day week employer since 2019


Good Business Charter Member since 2022

The Slator Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) is a ranking and an index of the world’s largest translation, localization, interpreting, and language technology companies.


The Patient Information Forum promotes access to trusted and high-quality health information for the public and healthcare professionals.

Federation of Small Businesses and the Self-Employed

Member of the Federation of Small Businesses and the Self-Employed

Prompt Payment Code

Signatory of the Prompt Payment Code since 2023.

Accredited with the Fair Tax Foundation since February 2024

Registered with the ICO since 2004.

Go to for more information.