Question: How can normal long-term relations with a translator be built up for good results to be achieved?
Answer: Both sides should not be arseholes. Working with arseholes will either lead to a bad result or provide no result at all.
a) Always be in touch. If you work with someone, you must discuss work related issues with them even if you are completely introverted, sociophobic and anthropophobic. You must always tell each other about any changes and issues and offer ideas and solutions.
b) The client and the translator must discuss any questions that arise, no matter how stupid they are. Something minor which is missed is bound to require changes in the future. You will lose either time or money. Usually both.
c) A client should not be greedy with their rates or delay payments. Stingy people disgust even the most dedicated slave-drivers. Everything becomes absolutely awful with unfair deadlines as well. Are you waiting to get results by a certain deadline? Then you should pay the money you promised as agreed.
d) A client should document their product. Even something which is a masterpiece in your industry looks like a pathetic piece of shit without the proper documentation. Supporting documents are just as important for a correct translation as the info which is part of the project. A lack of regulating documentation will lead to a mess in project processes and a shit result.
e) A translator must always read the supporting documentation and ask the client if something in the material seems strange, difficult to understand or seems to be entirely missing. All of the supporting documents for the translation must be put together carefully while taking the comments of the translator or a native speaker of the target language into account.
f) A translator must always ask about context if they have even a shadow of a doubt or if the phrase to be translated might be interpreted in different ways. If a client does not answer questions, does not send screenshots or if they do not describe the context themselves then they are idiots. If a translator does not understand the context and does not ask about it, then they are an idiot who should not be in this profession. If the translator makes numerous mistakes in the translation after getting information sufficient to determine the meaning of the source, then they are an idiot.
g) The client and the translator must know how to find common ground. On the translator’s side, this usually means a reduction in grammar nazism and perfectionism. It’s not the translator’s job to make an ideal translation if the client did not ask for a masterpiece from the beginning. On the client’s side it’s usually an inflexibility about deadlines and non-acceptance of the suggestions of the translator. If the translator asks for another 1-2 days to check their translation of your over9000 word project, you should give them this time, as you will run the risk of getting low-quality crap otherwise. If the translator suggests that something needs to be changed in the text or the content, listen to their words, otherwise you might face a shitstorm from the target audience of your product.