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Mar/17/2018 - 09:12:01 pm

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Professional Translation Agencies: What Exactly Are You Paying For

A simple online search for translation services will toss up a huge number of alternatives, from freelance translators to professional translation agencies to free online tools, all vying for your company. With such a proliferation of alternatives and wide variance in costs, you might well wonder whether you should pay over the minimum or, indeed, if you should pay anything in any way.

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It's easy to find the possible drawbacks and horror stories that free online machine postings can result in. What might not be quite as apparent to your company are the advantages that paying a little bit more to use the assistance of a professional agency instead of the less expensive online choices can have for its small business. All things considered, you may ask yourself, if the workload is the same, why should I cover any more? The answer is rather simple; specialist translation agencies offer a specialistassistance, together with all the expertise and customer service you would expect from any professional enterprise.

While an independent translator working for 2 cents a word and promising a same-day turnaround may seem very appealing, normally you'll be paying to get an unedited, un-proofread translation. It is simply impossible for him or her to ensure the same level of quality, consistency and specialisation provided by professional translation bureaus. On the flip side, an agency will use the necessary staff, resources and quality-driven business processes to ensure that, by the moment of contact until the last shipping, 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 freelance, owning multiple language combinations as well as a wide range of subject matter experience. This usually means they will have a translator with the proper linguistic ability and subject matter understanding on hand to take care of your job, which saves you the hours trawling the internet for somebody who may or may not be able to do the job. The translator's work will go on to continually be reviewed and proofed with a senior editor according to a strict set of requirements. The fact that the agency will manage your project from reception until delivery will also mean savings concerning time and resources for you. In most cases you just need to email them your project files to receive a complete, checked and corrected translation on time and on budget.

Professional translation agencies may have at their disposal all the translation technologies, for example CAT tools, which are required to best complete your translation job. Translation memory technology such as Trados allow previous translations to be leveraged, whilst terminology management tools like Xbench guarantee the consistent application of language 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 none) of those tools, inevitably leading to a lack of consistency, and also to additional costs for you. Translation memories are particularly important for continuing projects as repetitions can be billed at a lower rate, making long-term savings for you. The combination of highly skilled employees, project management experience, and the most up-to-date technology imply not only the quality of the finished product is consistently higher, but that professional agenciescan handle a far greater volume of work than other translation choices.

Perhaps the most important component that places professional translation agencies aside from the rest of the area is that they implement quality-driven business procedures which ensure that each individual translation job is allocated all the tools required to supply you with the best possible translation in the shortest turnaround time. These measures consist of comprehensive project evaluation and preparation including the creation of translation glossaries and question management systems in combination with the client, the allocation of appropriate resources, translation employing the most suitable technology, and also an in-depth quality check by a senior reviewer to ensure that the translation isn't just word ideal, but it reads as if written in the target language.

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