Quality Translations Or Missed Deadlines? Are You In A Dilemma?

One of our clients, who came to us for a certified document translation, shared one of his experiences of dealing with a mistranslated assembly manual.

“I purchased a mechanical toy for my son for Christmas that was manufactured in China. So, Christmas Eve came, and I’m out in the garage doing what many fathers are doing on Christmas Eve; assembling presents. Talking to many fathers, their solutions range anywhere from hiring someone in the family who is mechanically inclined to actually paying the retailer to do the job.

But I have always counted myself among those people who have the tools and knowledge to do almost any household job, including assembling presents for Christmas. I began my son’s project first because I suspected it to be the most challenging.

I often throw the directions away. Yeah, you can say, sort of careless when it comes to saving manuals etc. What’s the challenge in following directions anyway? But after trying hard to assemble the toy, I decided to consult the owner’s manual with directions.

I found myself going through the garbage, frantically searching for them.  After I found them, I took them to the floor, opened them up and consulted them. I began reading… “Step one- Package needing opened to be, removed mantling aspect of frame assemble.” Huh? I think it just told me to open the package. Okay, “Step two- apparel of package is wheels and black, on frame go to these…”

Okay, you get my point. I never was able to assemble this thing using directions provided, as I could understand but very little. I wondered who they hired to carry out the translation for their company’s manuals. Certainly it wasn’t a translation services company or was it?

If so, what happened? Were they just in a rush, under pressure of a deadline crunch and had to hire anyone who appeared to be capable of translating directions?

Who knows for sure, certainly there are times when you will sacrifice speed for quality but why do so when it’s not necessary?

There Are Translation Services Like Ours Who Can Help You!

If you are with a translation company that has been doing your work for a while, if they are of any worth at all, they will have some tools on hand which speed up the process of translation and as an added bonus will save you money. Crunch-time doesn’t mean every vendor will refuse to translate for you on a short notice when you tell them that you need the translated document back as soon as possible.

In the translation business, there exists a tool known as ‘translation memory’ which you might be familiar with. It is a data base that stores previous translations, a history of words, phrases even ideas. So when translating anything for your company that has any similarities to what was done in previous times, it can be indexed and assembled to create exactly what you need, though with whatever editing and formatting that must be done.

Basically, speed is being built into your service the more you use it.  So when you utter those frantic words to us and give us what you may think an impossible deadline, don’t lose hope. Let us have a look at it and you may be surprised!

Today’s Competitive Translation Industry

After many years, we can say that the demand for translation services has finally reached its pinnacle. Translation has now become a pure professional activity which is needed by top-notch international organizations and associations. Years ago, the need for full-time professional translation workers was almost non-existent. However, in more recent times, demand has accelerated due to internationalism and international humanitarian efforts.

With a demand for translators to address the needs of worldwide commercialization and marketing, universities have seen a growing interest in students seeking careers in translation studies.  However, most graduates of translation studies programs won’t be fortunate enough to find work by submitting resumes to large employers.  Instead, most translators will need to find work with long established translation companies.  This is because most companies have an infrequent need for a language translator with specific expertise.

Because it is more economical for most businesses in Houston to hire a Houston translation services company, business decision-makers invest time and energy identifying translation companies that they can trust.  Overtime, a sense of loyalty is built.  This makes it a challenge for new translation companies to build a presence in the translation market. As a result, setting up a translation company and making it profitable requires hard work especially when there are so many competitors.

Over the past decade, a shift has been observed in perceptions towards the translation profession. Instead of taking it up as a side profession or a part-time job, translators have become increasingly serious about developing careers in this field. According to some estimates, the need for New York City translation services alone will increase by a 20% every year, as the surveys suggest. Translation services are needed to support this age of globalization and they help bridge communication gaps between nations.

Today, translation companies have become the pillars of society.  Without them, most companies cannot engage in international transactions. In fact, nearly all business done internationally requires the aid of translation services.  But the industry has also become extremely competitive.

What to Consider When Translating Your Website

If you want to expand your business in different countries, translating your website becomes the most logical step to take. By restricting your business to English-speaking populations only, you will inevitably limit your growth and deprive yourself of a huge clientele and prospective business liaisons.  Therefore, in order to expand by reaching out to greater numbers of people all over the world, having your website in different languages is a necessity.

There are certain things to consider when planning website translation.

  • The first step is to decide whether you want to translate your entire website or some parts of it. You need to be sure of the scope of your work and see that you do not incur cost and time overruns. You should understand which portions of your website are likely to be accessed by the non-English speaking clients you are targeting. While you carry on with the translation work, you should try to keep the project simple; this way, the presentation remains lucid and you create fewer chances to make mistakes.
  • A very important point to decide is the language(s) you should choose for translation. Ideally, the translation should be made in the native languages of the countries you want to reach out to. To keep the choice of your translation general, you could select the most common languages that are found on the web—Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and German. However, your decision must be determined by the country or countries where you want to provide your service or product.
  • For translating your website, you also need to decide on the logistics behind creating a version of a foreign language, along with selection of language, image editing and back-end works.
  • When you work in foreign markets, it is natural for you to employ salespersons who are proficient in the language of that country. Hence while translating your website, you should remember to redirect the forms and contact information on the website to those in-country salespersons. Thus, it is important for you to determine which product market you would like to expand.
  • When translating website content for a specific country, localization needs to be addressed as well, but this is usually overlooked. It involves shaping the content according to the local culture that is being targeted. Localization needs to be done very carefully to avoid embarrassing situations.  Therefore, do ask your translation company if they are adept at using and incorporating local cultural expectations.
  • Most importantly, always engage a professional translation company for accurate translation. Check their work samples and team capabilities to ensure good quality translation.

By Sarah Hudson

How To Hire a Translation Company

With businesses expanding globally, there is an increasing demand for professional translation services. Hiring an effective, efficient and dependable translation company is the key to the success of every growing business. If you are a little cautious, you can find a reliable translation service provider who will provide error-free translation services at cost-effective rates.  Here are a few tips to help you select a specialized translation company.

Quality: Every translation company claims to offer the best translation service, but is that really true? Remember that poor translation services can hamper your business investments significantly; therefore, never settle for a sub-standard translation service provider.

Quality of service is the most important aspect that you need to check. To ensure this, you can ask for previous work samples and have them evaluated by an expert translator. Work done in the past is an excellent way to judge the capabilities of a company. You can also ask for referrals and contact them to ask about the quality of work they received.

Do ensure that the translated text preserves the original concept after translation. Small variations in words can make a mountain of difference. Apart from the basic language, the transcription agency must be aware of the different sensibilities associated with the population in different states and parts of the world. What is considered as a positive message in one region can be perceived as negative or even demeaning in another region. You will also need to ensure that the translation service providers have a quality control processes in place to proofread the final document prior to delivery. A company that has been in business for years will have all processes in place, for they would have evolved over time as they learned from their mistakes. This attention to detail and accuracy will save your reputation and give better value for your marketing dollar.

Price: Today, there are thousands of agencies claiming to provide accurate and affordable translation services; however, when you choose a provider for your translation assignments, you need to have a clear idea of what they will charge. Do not employ providers who offer their services at rock bottom charges.  To ensure that you are getting value for money, get quotes from several companies, compare their prices and quality of work and decide accordingly.

Estimated Turnaround: Another important point that you need to consider is the turnaround time. This is important to know to ensure that the company can meet the deadlines. A professional translation company states the delivery schedule well in advance. However, be careful about companies that promise exceptionally quick delivery, as speed can affect quality of translation work by encouraging carelessness.

Experience and Skills of Translators: Do check whether the translators are qualified and trained to handle the translation work you need competently.  Only a trained translator is aware of the nuances of translating documents. Moreover, if you need legal translation or medical documents translation, then you need to check if the company has staff specializing in these domains.

Privacy Policy: Finally, do check to determine whether the company you are considering to hire has a privacy policy in place, as translation work often involves sensitive information.