Translating is by no means an easy task. Irrespective of the language pair, when a translator aims at achieving the highest quality possible, they need to have both extensive knowledge and great language skills to perform the task properly. By properly, we mean with the degree of accuracy that minimizes the risk of conveying any errors, discrepancies, and any elements that might compromise the translated text and make it worthless. Basically, this is why we often prefer to rely on certified specialists that offer translation and interpreting services. The question remains, though: how to pick the right translation agency? What factors should we take into account to make sure we choose a reliable language service provider? Stay with us and find out.
The article has been written in cooperation with Ewa Nitoń-Greczuk, Managing Director at TEXTOLOGY — a renowned translation agency from London offering highly professional help with various translation projects and other language-related services.
Professional translation services
Professional translators do realize that translating requires a great deal of attention to be paid to a variety of aspects. Severely mistaken is a person who thinks that translating is nothing more than substituting words from one language with their equivalents in the other. Whereas this might be true in the case of simple and straightforward commands, any longer and even slightly more complicated text poses a significantly greater challenge. Expert translators know that doing the translation is a multi-faceted process that embraces such stages as conducting research in order to explore the topic (including contextual details), gathering all the tools that might be of help throughout the process (e.g. specialised dictionaries), converting the source text into the target language and finally evaluating the quality of the work.
Points for consideration
Given the complex nature of translation as such, it is essential you do some research on your own before choosing a translation company. What should you focus on? There are several important points you ought to consider so that you can be sure that you will be provided with high-quality translation services.
THE “WHO” FACTOR
If you want to make sure that the language services you are looking for will live up to your expectations, you may want to check whether the translation agency you plan on picking cooperates with native translators, ones that convert texts into their mother tongues. Many translation agencies realise that this significantly increases the chance of achieving the desired degree of accuracy, naturalness and stylistic perfection of the translated text, as well as ensuring that cultural barriers will be removed. Obviously, finding native speakers of a given language may not always be possible. Still, you can always make sure that specialists whose services are offered are certified translators who have all the qualifications and expertise to provide impeccable and professional language solutions in target languages. There are a number of companies empowered by an extensive network of translators who provide efficient service in many major languages and are able to ensure key insights into all the stages of your translation project.
THE “WHAT” FACTOR
Choosing a specialist translation agency may also depend on the type of source text you need to have translated. This is particularly vital in the case of highly specialized texts touching upon various scientific or technical aspects that require a translator to have not only a broad range of linguistic skills but also relevant background knowledge and in-depth understanding of the subject matter. The examples include legal translations (contracts, declarations, court rulings), medical translations (medical, records, clinical studies, pharmaceutical products) business translations (procedures, policies, guidelines) and financial translations (market analyses, financial statements, investment reports). Whether it is legal documents that language experts have to attend to, or financial translation services that are to be provided, comprehensive knowledge about the relevant field or industry is a major contributor to the ultimate accuracy of translations.
Although professional translations might appear as the most frequently desired service, still, you may be in need of other linguistic services, such as transcription services, proofreading, interpreting, voice-overs or desktop publishing services. They are all in tight connection with the translating process per se — understood as converting content from one language to another — yet, it is worth checking whether the range of services delivered by a given translation agency include other language services.
THE “HOW” FACTOR
The “how” relates to the way translation companies deal with their clients. This means how they approach you at the beginning of interaction, how quickly and thoroughly they respond to inquiries, and whether they offer competitive pricing. It is advisable you investigate a little — snooping around may help you evaluate if a given agency is likely to meet your translation requirements (for instance, ensuring fast response and the most adequate linguistic solutions) and provide you with exceptional customer service. This might be a good strategy for choosing the best translation company.
In search of high-quality translations
In today’s fast-evolving world, providing professional language translation services is probably one of the most crucial aspects of life, especially when it comes to the way business is conducted. A systematically growing number of international companies creates the need for a quick and effective exchange of information and fully accurate translations of various sorts of documents. And everyone seems to need it, ranging from corporate executives to small clients from private sectors, to independent individuals who are just about to enter the business world. No matter which group (if any, since the list is not exhaustive) you belong to, you expect your language service provider to offer engagement and professionalism on the part of highly qualified translators, ones with excellent skills and particular expertise in certain types of translation. We hope that with the set of our guidelines, you will be able to choose the right one.