Professional Translation Agencies: Exactly What Are You Paying For


A simple online search for translation services will throw up a massive number of alternatives, from freelance translators to professional translation services to free online resources, all vying for your business. With such a proliferation of options and broad variance in costs, you may well wonder whether you should pay over the minimum or, so, if you should pay anything in any way.
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It's easy to find the potential pitfalls and horror stories which free online machine translations can result in. What might not be quite as clear to a company are the advantages that paying a little bit more to use the assistance of a professional agency instead of the less expensive online alternatives can have because of the small business. All things considered, you may ask yourself, if the workload is the same, why should I cover any more? The solution is quite simple; professional translation agencies offer a professionalservice, with all of the expertise and customer service you'd expect from any professional business.


While a freelance translator working for 2 cents a word and promising a same-day turnaround might appear very appealing, normally you will be paying for an abysmal, un-proofread translation. It is simply impossible for her or him to ensure the same level of quality, consistency and specialisation offered by professional translation bureaus. On the flip side, an agency may employ the necessary personnel, tools and quality-driven business processes to make sure that, by the moment of contact until the final delivery, the support you get is of the highest standard.



The most precious resource that truly professional translation bureaus have is a group of qualified, native, in-country linguists, equally in-house and freelancer, owning multiple language combinations in addition to a wide selection of subject matter experience. This means they'll have a translator with the appropriate linguistic ability and subject matter understanding on hand to deal with your project, which saves you the hours spent trawling the internet for someone who may or may not have the capability to do the job. The translator's work will go on to continually be reviewed and proofed with a senior editor in accordance with a strict set of prerequisites. The simple fact that the agency will handle your project from reception until delivery may also mean savings concerning resources and time for you. Typically you simply need to email them your project files to be given a full, checked and adjusted translation on time and on budget.


Professional translation agencies may have at their disposal all of the translation technology, such as CAT tools, which are required to best finish your translation project. Translation memory technology such as Trados allow preceding translations to be leveraged, while language management tools such as Xbench guarantee the consistent use of language throughout a project. A broad range of these tools as well as fully trained translators will be accessible to professional translation agencies, whilst price constraints will mean that freelance translators often work with just a single (or sometimes none) of those tools, inevitably leading to a lack of consistency, and to additional costs for you. Translation memories are especially important for continuing projects as repetitions can be billed at a reduced rate, producing long-term savings for you. The blend of highly skilled staff, project management experience, and the many up-to-date technologies mean not only the quality of the finished product is always higher, but professional agenciescan manage a far higher volume of work than other translation choices.


Probably the most crucial component that places professional translation agencies apart from the rest of the area is they employ quality-driven business procedures which ensure that each individual translation project is allocated all the resources required to supply you with the best possible translation in the shortest turnaround time. These measures include comprehensive project evaluation and preparation including the creation of translation glossaries and question management systems in combination with the customer, the allocation of suitable resources, translation using the most suitable technology, and an in-depth excellent check with a senior reviewer to ensure that the translation is not just word ideal, but it reads as though written in the target language.

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