During times of economic stress and uncertainty businesses must diligently watch their spending in order to survive. Resilient companies with healthy earnings are also keen to keep costs down. This constant drive to reduce spending will sometimes lead companies to seek out low cost document translation. This can end up being a costly mistake. The lowest price may also come with the lowest quality product. Price should not be the only factor you consider when deciding who will deliver the document translation you require. It is also important to reflect on how the following will impact the quality of the product you receive:
The majority of reputable translation companies will utilise the latest translation memory and terminology management systems. Whether they use an ‘over the counter’ product or one developed internally, these programs make it possible to utilise past translations for future use, potentially saving your company both time and money on its translation projects. Some translation companies charge a lower per word rate for document translation when utilising the ‘Fuzzy matching’ techniques used in some computer-assisted translation. Fuzzy matching can speed up the translation process and lead to increased productivity, however it is not designed to replace human translators, who are an essential element in producing a quality result.
Professional translators are required to master more than just two languages. It is essential for translators and interpreters to be familiar with the subject they are translating.Separate industries can use precise, specialised terminologies specific to their field. A skilful translator understands the importance of accurate field focused translation and will have acquired skills and training relevant to their specific field. This focused education is essential to providing high quality and accurate translations. A good translator must also ensure that meaning is conveyed without error and that the context of the translation is clearly understood. Skilled translators and interpreters achieve the highest level of accuracy and understanding. A good translation will often mean that the translation is not a literal translation but one that accurately conveys the meaning of the original text. Certain highly technical or detailed documents may, however, require a 'literal translation'. Only skilled, professional translators who invest in themselves through education and training are able to meet the varied needs of their clients effectively.
A key component of quality control is review of the translated document by a second translator. This important step will improve the quality of the text, ensure coherence and guarantees accuracy of meaning. Quality translations will always make certain that the key message is delivered in the new document. Having a second set of eyes review the project is an important step in providing a ‘fit for purpose’ translation. Many translation companies will neglect this step to cut costs, they take this risk at the expense of their client, who may end up with a substandard product which is not ‘fit for purpose’.
Project managers are essential in document translation. Their effect on the process is often unseen, but can make the difference between a high-quality, on-budget translation delivered on time, or an over-budget, poor quality translation delivered late. Experienced project managers can anticipate client’s needs as well as potential problems that might affect quality, avert bottlenecks that might delay delivery, and know how to work within budget. And the best do all this with minimal or no fuss! Project managers should be available to answer questions and make any necessary changes.
The bottom line is, price isn’t everything. You need to employ a business who will utilise the latest computer programs appropriately and in balance with the skills only an educated, qualified and experienced translator can provide. Make sure the company you take on has a proven record producing quality translations and is supported by strong project managers. Be sure to consider all these factors, along with price, when choosing the best translation company for your project.