As translation needs increase across the world, new players are getting into the translation market from many countries and in several shapes and sizes.... In this "jungle", how can you choose a really reliable technical translation service?
Here are a few key parameters you should look for:
A translation company that ONLY works with professional translators: professional translators are translators with a translation degree and have a minimum of 5 years experience. Mastery of a second language does not make someone a good translator. As a matter of fact, a professional translator usually specializes in a given field (healthcare translation, pharmaceutical translation, legal translation, marketing translation, humanitarian interpretation, technical translation, machinery interpretation, environmental translation, etc.). He/she maintain a pool of necessary reference materials for translating even the most difficult texts as accurately as possible.
A translation agency that will uses computer-assisted translation tools including SDL Trados, the leader with this field. This does not result in the translation is done by the machine. Instead, it can be a very powerful tool that will helps translators and proofreaders maintain consistency in the translation. Technical terms and longer texts that are used frequently are then translated the same way every time.
A translation company that grows client-specific glossaries. Each company and each activity has a unique terminology and preferences. To ensure that your clients and foreign audience to learn your translated documents, they must be able to find the same vocabulary throughout every one of your brochures and documents. Establishing a glossary serves this goal and ensures even greater accuracy while building this company's "memory".
A translation company to provide a quality check through proven processes before providing the translation. A quality check can be an essential step before the lawsuit pursuer receives the translated documents. Only translation companies can provide such a service as they most often have translators in-house who proofread all translations implemented by freelance translators. Quality control prevents serious translation mistakes from occurring together with ensuring that the documents you receive are ready for printing, circulating or publishing. Even the best translators require their work proofed!
A translation company that can offer turnkey services: what when your document has been released using FrameMaker, InDesign, QuarkXpress, Illustrator? Or concentrating on XML, HTM or other types of file translated? Wouldn't you rather obtain the translation in the same format rather then having your internal solutions do the DTP work and risk making a major mistake, as often they do not speak the language? Some translation companies complete indeed provide DTP services and may deliver ready-to-print complex documents.
A translation company that has multilingual capacity: more and more companies require translations health of their documents into several different languages. Let's say you require a technical manual translated into 18 languages (French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Gloss, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Persia, Chinese, Japanese, and Slovak). Are you ready to deal with 18 different translators and eighteen proofreaders? Answering their questions, making sure they all translate consistent with your specific instructions? This may be a very time-consuming task, and that is why hiring a interpretation agency, which means you have just one single point of contact, makes the translation process much smoother for you.
A translation company that offers short turnaround times. If you have an urgent project, the translation company must be capable to assign a team of several translators/proofreaders in order to reach your deadline requirements.