The two most frequently asked questions from new translation clients we speak to are:
1) How much does it cost?
2) How long will it take?
These are good and necessary questions, although these questions alone imply that translation services are a commodity, which they are not.
Other good questions for a translation services provider:
1) What is your quality control process (e.g. Is proofreading by a second translator included)?
2) What are the language qualifications of translators (e.g., native speakers)?
3) Will translators qualified in my text’s subject matter be assigned to the project?
These and other questions go a step beyond ‘how much’ and ‘how long.’ Savvy translation buyers will ask these questions and consider the answers.