HOW TO CHOOSE A TRANSLATION AGENCY
Realising the importance of good translation and text localisation in companies and business has possibly resulted in opening more translation offices. Even in a small country like Latvia, there are many larger and smaller companies that offer translation services. If translation services for business or personal use are needed regularly, it is important that written and oral translations in various language combinations are available quickly and done well. The reputation and success of your company can depend on the written materials or the translator’s work at a conference or business presentation, so choosing the right cooperation partner in the field of translation services is essential. Read this article to learn more about what you should pay attention to when choosing a translation agency for long-term cooperation.
BE AWARE OF YOUR NEEDS
When you know what you are looking for, it’s easier to define your needs. What types of translations, such as business articles, medical texts, technical documents, or marketing materials do you need? Is it a website, newspaper article, legal contract, press release or technical manual? Who is your audience – will the translation be read by your customers or business partners? Source language – what language is the original text written in? Target language – what language will the translation be needed in? Do you only need written translations or also oral translations (interpreting)?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRANSLATOR AND AN INTERPRETER?
An interpreter specialises in oral translation, for example, working in court hearings, business meetings, events, conferences, while a translator translates written text, for example, books, legal contracts, marketing materials, etc.
HOW MUCH DOES TRANSLATION COST?
The price of translations is usually calculated based on the number of words or characters in the source (original) language of the document, but the price can also be affected by the deadline, complexity of the text and technical requirements. A project manager from the translation office will make a price offer before you agree on proceeding with the work.
TRANSLATION OFFICE AND THE REQUIRED QUALITY MANAGEMENT STANDARD CERTIFICATES
Make sure that the translation agency has implemented quality management systems and works with professional translators, interpreters, editors, and proofreaders instead of selling you machine translations that you can do yourself. Professionalism, confidentiality, responsibility for the work and meeting deadlines, ethical and sustainable company operation, etc. are confirmed by various ISO certificates:
EN ISO 9001
This quality management system confirms that the translation office has implemented and is implementing the necessary processes to ensure that the quality of services provided meets both the customer’s and regulatory requirements.
EN ISO 14001
The certificate confirms the translation company’s concern for the environment, including the use of environmentally friendly technologies and materials in business, waste sorting, printing only the necessary documents etc.
This certificate means that the selection of translation specialists, communication, project management, work process, use of technology and other industry-related aspects in our company meet the highest standards and requirements.
The implemented information security management system confirms that information protection measures have been implemented in the translation office and the necessary control has been ensured, guaranteeing the security and confidentiality of the data entrusted by our clients.
The certificate is related to the post-editing processes of machine-translated text, and the project manager and editor working together on project execution.
REPUTATION OF THE TRANSLATION AGENCY
You can usually get acquainted with customer reviews, the biggest clients, and projects of translation offices on their website. Also, perform a quick Google search to see what kind of information you can find about the translation agency. It’s always worth asking friends and business partners if they can recommend a good translation agency to work with in the long term, getting feedback from people whose quality standards you trust.
You can certainly ask the chosen translation agency about their experience in working with clients from the industry you represent and partners of a similar scale. The project manager or office administrator will tell you about the projects and clients the translation agency has worked with and offer references and contacts.
DEADLINES AND EFFICIENCY
After quality, one of the most important factors to pay attention to is translation speed and meeting deadlines. When you need a translation, you can directly ask the project manager for a price offer and the soonest possible time of completion. We expect a high-quality translation in a timely manner from a trustworthy translation agency.
SPECIALISTS IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES
There is a need for translations in very different fields and industries, so translators must not only master the language, but also have knowledge of the world and different areas of life, perhaps even specialising in a specific field outside of philology, and the translator must also have an understanding of the culture and etiquette of the language in which they are translating. A good translation agency will at least have professional translators and editors in fields such as finance, medicine, law, marketing, and technical text translation. These experts ensure that the correct terminology is used in the target language so that the translation is as professional as the original language. Find out if the translation agency has translators with the expertise you need for your project.
NOT ONLY TRANSLATION SERVICES BUT ALSO LOCALISATION
Make sure that the translation agency provides localisation. Translation and adaptation of a text are not the same thing – adaptation also means localising the text, changing idioms and means of expression, and adapting the text to the language requirements of the target audience. This can be crucial if you are in marketing, advertising, business, creating a website, etc., because translated material without localisation may not reach your company’s target market or may even be misunderstood. Most likely, the mentality of the Brazilian and Latvian markets will differ, and a translator who knows the culture and language nuances of your target audience will know how to address these people and choose appropriate metaphors and expressions.
To make the process of legalisation of documents easier for customers, many translation agencies also provide notarised translations. This means that the translation of the document is first certified with the signature of a qualified translator, and the translator’s signature is then certified by a Sworn Notary. When dealing with translations of public documents, the task of a Sworn Notary is to ascertain the translator’s education and qualifications and to warn the translator about their responsibility in accordance with Articles 300 and 302 of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Latvia, if a false and/or incorrect translation is made intentionally. If you need to translate documents, it is worth checking whether the translation office provides notarisation.
ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE TRANSLATION INDUSTRY
Technology has affected all areas of our lives, including the translation industry. A lot has changed since the invention of the computer and the internet – translators have access to many digital resources (dictionaries, language corpora) which reduces research time (no need to go to the library and flip through large books), faster communication with clients and between industry professionals, and the translation office has the opportunity to work with the best professionals in the industry, wherever they are in the world. A translation agency that keeps up with the latest technologies and the possibilities of information systems asserts itself as a progressive company that grows with the times.
TRANSLATION SERVICES REMOTELY
The process of ordering a translation should be convenient, fast and easy to understand. Nowadays, translators, editors, and proofreaders, as well as the entire administrative side of the translation office, can work remotely. Communication with the client about the project can be carried out from start to finish through e-mails, and translations of electronically signed documents can be completed in the e-environment.
Translation Bureau Skrivanek is one of the major language services providers in the world and provides high-quality and professional translation services in more than 110 languages, offering proofreading by a native speaker of the target language, as well as providing feedback on cross-cultural and business etiquette differences. Contact us or visit our office in Riga, Lāčplēša iela 87C!