How do you know if a translation agency offers quality? 10 Tips
Many people and companies all over the world need a good translation agency, especially when it comes to a certified translation agency or an English translation agency.
Experienced professionals who have been working in the business world for any length of time know the importance of a good professional translator, often through a legal translation agency because they know they will get beter quality.
Good communication has become ever more essential, so read these tips to find the right translation agency that can actually offer good quality.
Need a professional translation agency? How do you seek out quality…
The longer a translation agency has been established, the better, especially if it is a sworn translation agency. An experienced agency handles a wide variety of professional translations, and they won’t shy away from a challenging translation request. If a translation agency has previouse experience with a variety of translations, they know how best to perform a certain task. But even a relatively new agency can do a good job if their professional translators have years of experience – after all, the translators are the ones who do the work for you. If an agency is brand new, be sure to ask for their translators background.
It’s worth checking into the website of a translation agency or a professional translation service. Review the customers and the comments of satisfied customers to get an idea of their strengths and their clientèle.
3. Quality assurance
A good question to ask yourself is what procedures are in place to guarantee a professional translation. Depending on your needs, check whether the services of your translation agency take measures to ensure a high-quality translation, such as:
The Translation Process
How is the document handled before a translation is sent to the client? Some form of assessment should be the standard procedure for a professional translation. The translator should look at each document with a second pair of eyes to verify it for typos, grammar and accuracy.
This is an absolutely necessity, especially if you’ve received a translation from an unknown agency and are unsure of the quality of the work. Most translation companies offer proofreading services to improve a translation done elsewhere.
A translation into English must be appropriate for the country where it is read. There are differences between the English spoken in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and many other countries. You want the person reading the target language to feel “at home” when reading your document. Providers of quality document translation services will be on the lookout for these variations in language and differences in cultures, please search for “English translation agency” when using search engines to find a quality service..
A good professional translator takes language style into account in accordance with the type of text and the type of document encountered. An advertisement text has a different style (chatty, simpler, more convincing) than a legal document, while the style of a scientific document (very accurate, suitable for experts in the field) does not look good for a tourist website with a chatty kind of text .
In any case, it is essential to keep the following in mind: your professional translator must be a native speaker of the target language. If not, have a native translator proofread the document for you (see above). Failure to do so may result in a confusing document that is in some places incorrect or just not pleasant to read. Whatever the purpose for your document, you never want the person reading it to puzzle over what it means, or worse, stop reading it. There are countless subtle aspects that a native speaker will process that a non-native speaker can easily miss.
If your topic is legal or highly technical in nature, ask if you can get a certified translation or if the translator is indeed certified. This type of accreditation is not necessary for all translation tasks, but it gives you the assurance of a more than adequate level of skill and professionalism.
For specialized documents, find a translation agency that offers translators with expertise in a variety of areas, such as law, technology, medicine and financial documentation. Each technical topic has its own specific jargon, which not every translator will be well versed in.
For a translation agency to be effective, the communication must be right. When a translation is processed, communication is of the utmost importance. When choosing a translation agency, you must take into account their reaction time. How quickly does the agency respond to a request or answer a question? Is the translator open to perform additional services such as audio or video transcription if required? Are they willing to go the extra mile for you?
For your part as a customer, provide as much information as possible about the intended reader of your document, why you need a translation service and what your ultimate goal is. Do you provide instructions that are easy for everyone to understand? Are you selling a product? Are you wanting to convince someone of your point of view? Are you informing the public about a health issue? Are these documents directed at a court? This kind of information helps you find the right translator. Also share with the translator in which medium or media the document is being read. Are you printing a manual for a device? Is an article being printed in a magazine? Is it a website for tourists? Are you making a radio or TV announcement? The medium influences the message, and certainly as much as on the type of translation and translator you need.
6. Software and translation memory
Most of the time, you don’t have to worry about the kind of software your translation service uses, but if you have a particularly large job or many repetitive tasks of the same type, Computer Assisted Translation tools can make a difference. Technical topic translations can benefit from a glossary of specialized terminology, and features such as a translation memory or a knowledge base maintained by expert translators can be a lifesaver for large jobs. Dedicated translation software may provide consistency in repeatedly used terminology over many different documents. If your document spans hundreds of pages or more, or if you need to have some type of document translated regularly over time – perhaps years – ask if your translator uses translation tools.
7. Security and Confidentiality
If your translation is related to a sensitive legal matter or contains information that your company considers confidential, security and confidentiality is essential. Ask if the translation agency and its professional translators have signed or are willing to sign confidentiality agreements and find out about their security procedures.
Watch out for the following when looking for translation services …
8. Machine translations
Of course you can put your text in a number of free translation websites and you will get immediate results. This is fine for writing a personal email to a pen pal, but you can’t count on a good result for more formal, business so look for a professional certified translation agency.
As advanced as computer technology is these days, language is even more complex, and computer translations generally still don’t go beyond simple sentences and topics. An automatic translation can lead to a hopeless number of smaller and larger errors in your document and often valuable time is spent drafting it
9. Cheap translations
You can get a good translation without spending a ton of money, but be very careful about judging a translation service on (low) cost alone. You get what you pay for.
We all know what it’s like trying to assemble a piece of furniture with a badly translated set of instructions or how confusing it is reading the badly translated instructions that come with a kitchen appliance. Such as: “Unplug the power cord after a you’ve been charged” or “Check the voltage with agreement to physically” or “Understand in advance, because responsibility cannot be taken about the accident in the event”.
These translations look like a bargain in terms of price, however it’s clear that the companies paying for them didn’t care much about the person ultimately reading them.
But also, legal documents for example are often not understood by an ordinary professional translator and it becomes clear that a specialist must be involved.
In other words, if cost is your only guide you will run into problems with translation tasks. The web is full of these kinds of examples; make sure your translation doesn’t end up on one of these sites
Finally, the quickest way to get it wrong is to rush the process without taking due care and attention in the first place. Haste creates mistakes. Follow these tips to make sure you hire a professional translator who provides excellent translation services instead of entrusting your work to the first person you meet. You don’t have to spend hours on this, but a little forward planning will save you a ton of hassle and trouble in the end.