Tips for Working with Translation Agencies

July 31, 2016 Daniela Bustamante

When people are in need of translation services, companies and private individuals typically prefer to contact translation agencies rather than freelance translators. This happens mostly because very few of them possess freelance translator contacts to cover all of their needs. Also, it is quite difficult to ensure the quality and availability of individual linguists.

Cooperation with the translation agencies can be complicated because people new to translation often do not understand the internal processes needed to be completed before the actual translation is complete.

In this blog, I will cover some tips to keep in mind to make working with a translation agency mutually successful.

Submit finalized versions of the documents you need translated

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Every translation goes through two work phases: translation by one linguist, editing and proofreading by the second linguist. If the client makes last-minute changes, every change has to go through the same two phases to be included into the final document, and this takes additional time.

Now imagine that you need a desktop published (DTP) booklet, the booklet's text needs to be approved before the DTP stage, but changes are sent a day before the planned delivery deadline. This will result in the deadline for the final delivery to be extended significantly.

Understand the costs

Usually the quotes for translation and DTP projects contain prices based on the initial word count and the number of hours necessary to do a certain task. They have no "safety cushion" meant to cover the last-minute text or design changes, and if a client pushes for last-minute changes, there will be additional costs and the timeline may be extended. In order to avoid extra charges, have all of your documents in final form before you send for translation. If you have any questions about the scope of the project, make sure you address these questions at the beginning so there aren't any surprises later.

Participate in the translation process

No matter how qualified and familiar with the subject matter the linguists are, the client will always know their products or services more thoroughly. Do not hesitate to provide answers to the translator's or editor's questions or even arrange a meeting to explain your brand, it facilitates the translation process considerably and makes the translation quality even higher.

Provide reference materials and glossaries

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Reference materials and glossaries not only affect the quality of the translation, but also ensure that the terminology used is translated in the same way as any previously translated documents or files. It will also keep your message and brand consistent across all languages.

Avoid asking for urgent delivery before the set deadline

Nobody is exempt from emergencies, however, if it becomes a common occurrence, please stick to the initial schedule. Your project manager will not hesitate to deliver the translation as soon as possible, but because of the many translation phases described above, sooner delivery can put additional stress on all the specialists involved and leave them less time to work on the translation project compromising quality.

Voice your feedback

Feel free to provide feedback on the translations, both positive and negative. It helps translation teams understand the client's needs and preferences better, and every new translation will further meet the client's expectations.

Summary

Translation is a mutual process that is impossible without the client and the translation agency working together closely. I hope the tips above will help to get a better understanding of the internal processes and make the cooperation satisfying and enjoyable at all times.

Further Resources from GPI

Globalization Partners International (GPI) has developed a suite of globalization tools to achieve internationalization and many of the goals listed in this blog. You can explore them under the Tools sections of our Translation Services. GPI also offers internationalization and globalization consulting services and can evaluate your application. Partnering with GPI before you localize or translate your application will ensure that you avoid many mistakes and will also save you considerable time and money on your localization projects.

For more information about mobile application translation and localization, please check our services page:

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

 

About the Author

Daniela Bustamante

Director: Global Production Services. Daniela has over 16 years' experience in the translation, localization and language instruction professions. She holds a degree in Sworn, Literary, Technical, and Scientific Translation from the Instituto Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Olga Cossettini in Rosario, Argentina. Starting her career as a translator for English-Spanish/Spanish-English in 1990 over the years she has worked for several Localization Agencies as a translator, assistant project manager and senior project manager. She has completed a wide range of professional certifications in document and website localization with emphasis on translation, budgeting, quality control and project management including The Localization Institute’s Triple Certification in Localization Project Management (Localization Institute Chico, CA, USA).

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