A quick search of ‘translation company’ online will bring back millions of results for you to choose from, all appearing very similar. Some boast fast translations, offering seemingly impossible deadlines, whilst others promise ridiculously low prices. With so much choice, how do you filter out the good from the bad?
Professional Native Speakers
Firstly, you need to ensure that the professional who is carrying out your translation is a professionally qualified native speaker of the language that your document is being translated in to. In a previous article, Why Must a Translator Work Only Into Their Mother Tongue, we discuss the importance of this, and why only a native speaker can truly understand the complexity of their language. These are the people you want translating your essential documents, marketing materials, product brochures and safety details.
Sensible Use of Technology
Next, look out for how translations are carried out. A professional translation company may use ‘translation memory’ technology where appropriate – this works by storing your translations in such a way that they can be retrieved for future reuse. This helps consistency and quality, saving both time and money.
For those of you who have walked the tightrope of using Google Translate – a completely different technology to translation memory - you’ll understand that using automated ‘machine’ translation is extremely risky, and should generally only be used for ‘gist’ translations, where you just want to get an idea of what something means. Don’t be afraid to ask your translation company what technology they use, they should be open and honest about it.
So, you’ve found a professional outfit that offers qualified native speaking translators and makes sensible use of technology. Next, you need to feel confident that they have expertise in your specific area of industry. Pharmaceutical documents, engineering manuals and similar materials need a translator who is trained in that specific field; otherwise serious complications can arise during the translation process. Find out more about this in our recent piece, The Challenges Faced when Translating Documents for the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Certified Translation Providers
Beware of below par translation providers too. Always keep an eye out for certifications such as ISO 9001. Look out for memberships too, ATC (Association of Translation Companies) in the UK and its equivalents in the EUATC should be reassuring, and you’ll know you’re dealing with a professional outfit.
Here at Alexika we’re firm believers in offering honest, professional service. As you’d expect, all of our professional translators are native speakers and industry experts. For more information about how we can help your business with your translation requirements, get in touch today.