As soon as you want to undertake something abroad, you’ll need translations. Of your general terms and conditions, your website, your marketing material, you name it. If you need translations there are a number of options. From working with a dictionary to a freelance translator and from an acquaintance who is quite a linguist to a renowned translation agency.
When translating, you have only one goal; to change your text into another language. But as always, there are several roads that lead to Rome. And all those roads have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we’ll explain the main differences and why it’s best to opt for a translation agency (with native translators).
1. The very best translators have already been selected for you
Anyone can claim to be a translator. This is not that bad in itself. After all, it’s a profession like any other and if you, as a freelance translator, build a great website and work on your sales techniques, you will also receive assignments. This occurs (too) often — while it’s actually very important to not let just any translator work on your text.
If you opt for a translation agency, you opt for convenience, the best quality and time savings. You don’t have to look for the best translator yourself — we will do that for you. As we work with native translators you can imagine that we’re sent an awful lot of CVs. This is where Grace van Engelenburg, Vendor Manager, comes in. According to her: ‘I only select the best translators based on an extensive screening.’ Despite the fact that only 1% (!) makes it through the selection process, we ensure that good translators are always available. With signed confidentiality agreements, GDPR-proof and at least 5 years of experience.
2. You’ll be working with native translators
An employee who happens to speak your target language is probably not the best choice for your translation. Certainly not if the person has lived in the UK for years, for example. Only native translators, who live and work in the country for which you need the text, will notice the details. They will add the right nuances to the text and that’s exactly what makes the difference. You have to know and understand the language and culture to give the text the feel it needs. This is why we only work with native translators; specialists whose language knowledge is always up-to-date.
3. You’ve opted for subject specialists
Is your sink leaking? Where do you go for advice? Obviously not a baker. So why would you have someone who has no medical knowledge whatsoever do a medical translation for you? Almost every text requires a specialist.
You can prevent errors —which sometimes have major consequences — by outsourcing your translations to those who really know what they’re talking about. This is why we’ll match you and your translation assignment to a translator who is specialised in your field.
4. Consistency is key
A translation agency ensures that your message will come across consistently and coherently — in all languages and for all target audiences. Your project manager (more on that later) will keep a close eye on whether your terms are used correctly, whether we meet all your requirements and whether anything needs to be done about the layout.
If you only look at the money, a freelancer or an employee who has mastered the language probably seems the best choice. But if you look beyond that, you will see that they aren’t necessarily cheaper. Translation agencies have a huge amount of valuable knowledge and expertise in-house, in addition to handy translation software such as a translation memory.
Advantages of the translation memory:
- Consistent translations.
- Lower investment.
- Getting the translation done quickly.
The technology not only makes translations more consistent, but also cheaper. If you wish, Euro-Com can work with a translation memory. A database in which all your previously translated texts are stored. We happen to think that you shouldn’t have to pay the full price twice for translating the same type of text. The more text already stored in the translation memory, the more you save. The software analyses your text and tells us how many repetitions it contains. In this way we can calculate an even more competitive rate than usual. You therefore benefit twice from the software we use — even with your first assignment, because you get a discount on repetitions in the text. If you have a translation memory created, you also receive a discount on the words listed in it.
Good to know; the translator never rashly copies repetitions. Both the translator and reviewer check whether the word really matches the context and whether it is correct.
5. You have access to a lot of knowledge
There’s no need for you to know everything. It’s far more efficient to surround yourself with people who know what is needed. A translation agency knows everything about translations, the working method, the right choices and more. No previous experience with translations? Ask us everything you want to know. (The same applies if you do have some experience.) Your project manager will help you make the best choices and advise you on making the best use of your money and your translations.
6. It saves time and energy
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for an employer; time is money. For everyone. You don’t want to spend an unnecessarily long time on getting your texts translated. For that reason alone, it would be smart to opt for the services of a translation agency. At Euro-Com you’re assigned a personal project manager who will save you time and energy.
One fixed point of contact
Do you need multiple translations and also in different language combinations? If you have to maintain contact with all the translators who work on your project, it will almost be a day’s work. This is why you have one fixed point of contact; your personal project manager. He or she will relieve you of a lot of work because the translators will not contact you but your project manager. He or she will answer their questions, because all your wishes and preferences are clear.
To give you an idea of the amount of time it will save you; sometimes one translation leads to four questions from four different translators at the very same time. Three questions about errors in the text supplied by the customer, one question about a literal translation. Were the translator to translate the text literally it would confuse the reader. The translator will then inquire whether a free interpretation would be the solution. And if your project manager is unable to resolve the matter he or she will obviously contact you. This results in:
• Significant time savings.
• The prevention of misunderstandings.
Your document completely ready for use upon delivery
You don’t really feel like doing a lot of work on the translated document once you’ve received it? You don’t have to. A translation agency can usually process your file type or format. Thanks to creative teams, your translation is immediately ready for use upon delivery. Whether it concerns InDesign, audio, transcription, voice-overs or completely formatted texts. Freelancers often lack the skills to do this. Euro-Com doesn’t — we have our own DTP team, for example, so that your document will be ready for the printing press.
7. Your deadlines will be met
Chances are that you spend the occasional sleepless night. Why? Will you meet that deadline? Is the project proceeding well? What if the freelance translator no longer has time for you, becomes ill or never responds to any of your messages? A translation agency will take all those worries away from you. Your project manager, your fixed point of contact, will ensure that you receive your translations on time — so you can continue to sleep well again. The project manager:
• Selects the translator who can handle the workload.
• Keeps an eye on things.
• Draws up a schedule based on the documents to be translated, the requirements and deadline.
• Ensures that the original document required by the translator(s) is received on time.
• Arranges for questions to be answered correctly.
• Ensures that predetermined goals are achieved.
Grace van Engelenburg, the Vendor Manager we just mentioned, says: ‘Deadlines are very important to our customers and to us. Another thing to justify a strict selection. A translator who submits the test too late is out. You don’t want them doing the same to a customer who is about to send out an important press release.’
8. Go for the best quality
All our translators do their utmost to provide good translations. But it remains the work of people and it can sometimes happen that the text contains a small mistake. If you go for a translation agency with a comprehensive quality control system, this should never become a problem for you. At Euro-Com, all translations done by the translators are viewed by 3 pairs of eyes; your document will be worked on by two translators and checked by a project manager. Those eyes will be joined by a special kind of software that will alert the project manager to things that may require some additional verification.
Would you like to find out what it’s like to work with a translation agency?
Would you like to know what it’s really like to work with a translation agency and with Euro-Com in particular? Feel free to request a free test translation of 300 words maximum. A great way to sample our quality and service. Curious about the costs of a translation? Request a quote.