Translation in general

How to make the most out of a translation agency

We already talked about the difference between translation agencies and freelance translators in our previous article “Freelance translator or a translation agency?” This time we would like to show you the back side of a translation agency and explain how to make the most out of an agency. Once you start using these methods you will realize that the fees of translation agencies are not expensive at all.

How translation agencies find the perfect translator

For preparing a quotation a translation agency requires these four inputs.

1. Type of document, & original and target language
2. Number of words/ characters
3. Requested delivery date
4. When possible a copy of the original document

This information is required for the selection of the translator. When selecting a translator at first an agency will have a look at the list of their translators. Such lists contain information about their education, professional history, and several other factors. When selecting a translator the most important factors for us are:

A – their special field
B – the number of words they can translate in one day
C – their recent translation results

Using the information about our translators and the information provided by you it is now the job of an agency to find the translator best suited for your case in a limited amount of time.

However, only using the information on the list makes it difficult the find the “perfect translator” for your project. Therefore we make sure that we are not only familiar with the data about our translators but also have a good knowledge of their abilities.

Most of the translators at transeuro are in-house. Those on a freelance contract have to pass a difficult test and interview (more information here). We only hire translators after getting a thorough understanding of their abilities.

How are the abilities of translators evaluated? – Why it is better to have the original text when preparing a quotation

It is possible to prepare a quotation with only the number of words, the original and target language and the requested delivery date.

However, with only this information it is almost impossible to find the perfect translator. Without the original, any one of the translators that specialize in the field and are currently available could be selected. However, when we find the perfect translator for your project you will get a translation that is worth more than you pay.

At a good translation agency, the translation coordinator will already have names of certain translators in mind when they look at a document. They know that the abilities of these translators are a perfect match for this project.

The abilities of a translator are judged by third parties. A translation is not something you evaluate yourself. If you do not receive a good evaluation by others it is not a product that you can sell.

At transeuro, most of the translations are prepared by in-house translators. For projects with a large volume, we can also build teams of translators. Because we are well aware of each translator’s abilities we can put together teams very easily.

For our freelance contractors, the employee in charge of their initial test will keep track of their translations, how they were revised and feedback from the client. Therefore we also have a thorough understanding of the abilities of our freelance translators and can select the perfect translator for any project.

What are your priorities regarding your translation project?

 There are different aspects you can prioritize.

1. Budget
2. Speed
3. Accuracy
4. Quality
5. Expertise in the field

If you choose speed this might have a negative effect on other aspects. The shorter the deadline the less options we have for possible translators and the lower the chances that the perfect translator for your project is available.

As for budget, accuracy, quality, and expertise please let us know which aspect is most important for you. This way when we can take your priorities into account when selecting the perfect translator for you.

How to make the most out of a translation agency – Summary

To summarize the above there are 3 points to pay attention to when working with a translation agency.

1. Send a copy of the original document when requesting a quotation
2. Let them know your priorities
3. Choose a translation agency that knows their translators well

We would be glad if this article helps you when choosing a translation agency. If you have any questions or are currently looking for a translation agency feel free to contact us. We are happy to discuss with you any general issues or details about a certain project free of cost.


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