We’ve already spoken about the relationship that exists between price, quality, and speed when selecting a translation service. In this article, we will analyze in greater detail the variables that affect these three factors.
When selecting a professional translation service, the decision to go with a certain provider will mainly depend on the variables of quality, cost, and time. This is to say, your company needs the best possible translation, at the lowest possible price, and it needs it as soon as possible. Many can promise these three conditions, but behind the promises there are objective factors that allow you to filter beforehand those companies most capable of really following through with them.
The quality of the final translation is a direct result of the quality of the linguists who work for the company, which in turn depends upon:
a) The agency using native translators, and that they be academically trained and well-formed professionals, which guarantees that the translations are accurate and transmit the correct message in the desired tone.
b) The work being assigned to translators who are experienced in the subject area in question in order to ensure use of precise terminology.
c) The translators being required to pass translation exams in order to be selected to work at the agency, and that the quality of the translation be evaluated regularly.
d) The agency having a quality assurance process that guarantees the highest quality final product. In other words, the company should have edition and proofreading steps, as well as a certification for the work. In this sense, it is also convenient to check the types of certifications that the company may have.
When selecting a translation service, your company will probably require price quotes from different businesses and will assign the job to one that has competitive translation rates. Today, translation companies have various assisted translation tools (CAT tools), which, without being automatic translations, allow companies to reduce final costs by using translation memories. These allow previously translated segments to be used in order to assist in the translation of a new project and to recognize the repetitions within one same project. This way, using translation memories implies reducing costs by differentiating between new words and previously translated phrases, either totally or partially.
The third variable is time. The factors that influence a speedy delivery are:
a) The use of assisted translations tools (CAT tools) and translation memories, which aside from the cost reductions mentioned above, also optimize delivery time, because with every project undertaken by the translation memory that the agency uses to translate your company’s documents, the memory grows and has more previously translated segments and partial matches.
b) An organized database of translators, editors, and proofreaders that facilitates quick filtering based on different criteria, which allows rapid and effective assignment of translation jobs.
c) The use of translator teams, which allows many translators to work at the same time on a project, while the use of a common translation memory guarantees consistency in the work.
Finally, an additional characteristic that you should always keep in mind is whether the company has its own graphic design or DTP (desktop publishing) department. This allows the work to be delivered in the same format and layout in which it was sent. This allows the company to save on resources and time, given that the project can be delivered ready to print, independently of the design’s complexity.
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