Technical translation

Professional Translation Agencies: Exactly What Are You Paying For



A simple online search for translation services will throw up a massive number of options, from freelance translators into professional translation services to complimentary online resources, all vying for your company. With such a proliferation of alternatives and wide variance in costs, you might well wonder whether you should pay above the minimum or, indeed, should you pay anything in any way.
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It's easy to find the potential pitfalls and horror stories that free online machine postings can result in. What may not be quite as apparent to a business are the advantages that paying that little bit more to use the assistance of a professional agency rather than the less expensive online choices can have because of the business. All things considered, you might ask yourself, whether the workload is the same, why should I pay any more? The answer is quite simple; specialist translation services offer a professionalassistance, with all of the expertise and client service you would expect from any professional business.

Even though an independent translator working for two cents a word and also claiming a same-day turnaround may seem very appealing, normally you will be paying to get an abysmal, un-proofread translation. It's simply not possible for him or her to ensure the same level of quality, consistency and specialisation offered by professional translation agencies. On the flip side, an agency will employ the necessary staff, resources and quality-driven business processes to ensure that, from the moment of contact until the final shipping, the support you get is of the maximum standard.



The most precious resource that truly professional translation agencies have is a team of qualified, native, in-country linguists, equally in-house and freelance, owning multiple language combinations as well as a wide range of subject matter experience. This usually means they will always have a translator with the appropriate linguistic skill and subject matter knowledge on hand to deal with your job, which saves you the hours trawling the net for somebody who may or may not have the capability to perform the job. The translator's job will go on to continually be reviewed and proofed with a senior editor according to a strict set of requirements. The simple fact that the agency will handle your project from reception before delivery may also mean savings concerning time and resources for you. In most cases you simply must email them your job files to receive a full, checked and adjusted translation in time and on budget.

Professional translation agencies will have at their disposal all the translation technologies, such as CAT tools, that are required to best complete your translation job. Translation memory technology such as Trados enable preceding translations to be leveraged, while language management tools like Xbench guarantee the consistent use of terminology throughout a job. A wide array of those tools as well as completely trained translators will be accessible to professional translation bureaus, while cost constraints will indicate that freelance translators frequently work with just a single (or sometimes none) of those tools, necessarily leading to a lack of consistency, and also to extra costs for you. Translation memories are particularly essential for on-going projects as reps can be billed at a reduced rate, making long-term savings for you. The blend of highly skilled staff, project management experience, and the most up-to-date technologies imply not only the grade of the finished product is always higher, but professional agenciescan handle a much greater volume of work compared to other translation options.

Perhaps the most important component that places professional translation services apart from the rest of the area is they implement quality-driven business procedures which ensure that every individual translation job is allocated all the tools necessary to give you the best possible translation at the shortest turnaround time. These measures include comprehensive project evaluation and preparation including the development of translation glossaries and question management systems in combination with the customer, the allocation of appropriate resources, translation employing the most suitable technology, and also an in-depth quality check by a senior reviewer to make sure that the translation is not only word perfect, but it reads as if written in the target language.


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