Professional Translation Agencies: Exactly What Are You Paying For
A simple online search for translation services will toss up a huge number of alternatives, from freelance translators to specialist translation services to complimentary online tools, all vying for your business. With such a proliferation of options and broad variance in prices, you may well wonder whether you ought to pay over the minimum or, so, should you pay anything in any way.
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It's easy to find the possible pitfalls and horror stories that free online machine postings can result in. What might not be quite as clear to your company are the benefits that paying a little bit more to employ the assistance of a professional agency rather than the less expensive online choices can have for its business. After all, you might ask yourself, whether the workload is the same, why should I cover any more? The answer is rather simple; specialist translation agencies offer a professionalservice, together with all of the expertise and customer service you'd expect from any professional enterprise.
Even though an independent translator working for 2 cents a word and also claiming a same-day turnaround may seem very attractive, in most cases you'll be paying to get an unedited, un-proofread translation. It is simply impossible for him or her to make sure the identical level of quality, consistency and specialisation provided by specialist translation agencies. On the flip side, an agency may use the necessary staff, tools and quality-driven business processes to ensure that, from the moment of touch until the final delivery, the service you get is of the maximum standard.
The most valuable resource that truly professional translation bureaus have is a team of qualified, native, in-country linguists, both in-house and freelancer, owning multiple language combinations in addition to a vast selection of subject matter experience. This usually means that they will have a translator with the appropriate linguistic skill and subject matter knowledge on hand to take care of your project, which saves you the hours trawling the net for someone who may or may not have the capability to do the job. The translator's job will then continually be reviewed and proofed with a senior editor in accordance with a strict set of prerequisites. The fact that the bureau will handle your project from reception until delivery will also mean savings in terms of resources and time for you. Typically you simply need to email them your job files to be given a complete, checked and corrected translation on time and on budget.
Professional translation bureaus will have at their disposal all of the translation technologies, such as CAT tools, which can be needed to best complete your translation project. Translation memory technologies such as Trados allow previous translations to be leveraged, whilst language management tools such as Xbench guarantee the consistent application of terminology throughout a job. A broad range of these tools in addition to completely trained translators will be available to professional translation bureaus, whilst cost constraints will mean that freelance translators often work with only one (or sometimes none) of those tools, necessarily leading to a lack of consistency, and to additional costs for you. Translation memories are especially essential for continuing projects as reps can be charged at a reduced rate, making long-term savings for you. The blend of highly skilled employees, project management experience, and the many up-to-date technologies mean not only the grade of the finished product is consistently higher, but that professional agenciescan handle a much greater volume of work than other translation options.
Perhaps the most crucial component that sets professional translation services apart from the remainder of the field is they implement quality-driven business procedures which ensure that each individual translation job is allocated all the tools necessary to supply you with the best possible translation at the shortest turnaround time. These measures include thorough project analysis and preparation including the development of translation glossaries and query management systems in conjunction with the client, the allocation of appropriate resources, translation using the most suitable technology, and also an in-depth quality check by a senior reviewer to make sure that the translation isn't only word perfect, but that it reads as though written in the target language.
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