In the process of selecting a professional translation agency, there are many factors that directly affect the output of the project and subsequent business relationship, including quality, price and speed of delivery.
Once you have decided to outsource your translation requirements to an agency, it’s important to identify all variable at play from that point, mentioned above. It goes without saying that you will require the finished transcript to be handed to you post-haste, and that with no errors and proper conveyance of the intended message.
While every potential service provider can say anything, these three factors are affected by a few more factors which you can use to filter out providers who are all talk and those who can actually deliver results.
The speed of delivery of a translation project is directly affected by:
- Use of computer-assisted translation tools and/or translation memories. These optimize time and hence reduce the overall cost of translation. As partial matches of previously translated works are fount, each project will have less blocks left unchanged, and hence the entire process will take a shorter time.
- Having effective and well-arranged translator, editorial and proofreading professionals on file so that jobs are filtered quickly according to given criteria and delivered to the client with minimum hassle.
- Setting up translation teams, wherein translators work on one project simultaneously, utilizing the same translation memory for consistency – ideal for much larger projects.
In choosing translation services, you will probably start by sourcing quotations from different providers and choose the one whose rates are most competitive. Today, there are many computer-aided translation software suites, and using translation memories can help greatly to cut down on final cost – previously translated segments can be easily translated on recognition, meaning that bigger memories will reduce costs even further. The computer should be able to differentiate between partially and wholly familiar segments.
Finally, the quality of final work submitted to the client will be determined by the quality of translators/editors/proofreaders assigned to each project. This in turn is determined by:
- Whether or not the agency employs native translators who are also academically trained professionals. This guarantees accuracy of translation including delivery of the right tone and contextual meaning of the message.
- Translators should have prior experience in the area under discussion. More experienced writers will have better knowledge of precise terminology that will accurately deliver the message.
- Translators should have been examined and passed relevant examinations prior to employment. Their translation skills should be regularly examined even after employment
- The agency should have strong and thorough quality control/assurance protocols, which guarantees that the final work submitted will be of the highest quality possible.
As an extra, ensure that your potential service provider has an in-house desktop publishing team. The purpose of the DTP team is to render work in the same format that the client sent it in, or else to render it in the client’s desired format. In addition, this team considers any contextual differences that may affect readability e.g. format should not be the same for Western languages that are read from left to right and Middle Eastern languages that are read from right to left.
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