Should you hire a nonprofessional translator or a translation agency

Should you hire a nonprofessional translator or a translation agencyAs a translation company, we depend on professional freelance translators constantly. This article addresses nonprofessional translators and is specifically making a comparison between a nonprofessional translator and a translation company. Clients sometimes debate if they should use an individual they hear of (it could be a colleague, friend, or second cousin’s best friend’s girlfriend) to translate a document or go to a professional vendor. This article is meant to address this decision.

While you might pay less up front with a nonprofessional translator, you’ll likely end up spending more time or money than you would if you went directly to a skilled language service provider with your project. Here’s why you don’t want to go the seemingly cheapest route.

They may or may not be professional

The single biggest problem with nonprofessional translators is that you can’t always be sure how dedicated they are to their work. Will they quit your project at the first sign of a “real job” or take off for weeks without letting you know? Will they be there and ready to make edits if you update the document?

When working with a translation firm, you’ve got a certain amount of structure. You’ve got a project management system for taking your document as it is and returning it to you in the targeted language. You’ve got a point of contact who can update you at any time on where your project is in the pipeline. They respect your deadlines. And the translators are vetted, which gives you a degree of confidence in their ability to deliver.

The quality probably won’t be as high

When you work with a nonprofessional translator you can’t vouch for, you don’t know what kind of quality you’ll get. One translator might do a great job of translating lifestyle-type content, but might flail when you give her your technical medical product copy. This isn’t something you want to discover when your application to submit your products in another country is due. Also, humans make mistakes. So without an editor, some errors are likely to appear in the final version of the translation.

Translation agencies depend on a team: a professional translator, an editor, a proofreader and a Project Manager. Typically, translation companies also use SOFTWARE TOOLS to BETTER MANAGE costs, time and keep language consistent. While no two translation companies are the same, the value-add of a translation company is that they likely already went through the process of identifying high-quality professional freelance translators already.

It could take longer than you want

Nonprofessional translators could take longer to translate simply because they may be busy, or not be using industry tools, whereas a language service provider almost certainly uses all technology tools to minimize time, better control expenses and ensure full consistency. Moreover, they will always have a team of professional translators ready from the moment you approve a project. This tends to result in faster and more consistent translations.
If you attempt the translation in-house and don’t have a dedicated translator with the right tools, then you’re also competing against the deadlines on any other projects that person has on her plate.

They’ll be limited in their languages

If you only need a document translated into a single language, any professional translator with the vocabulary and time can handle it. But what happens when you want that same document translated into multiple languages? That same translator probably can’t help you. Then you have to find many translators, and you end up with multiple translations in different tones and styles, where you want consistency across all languages.
A translation agency can simultaneously work on all your projects to get them done faster.

That argument about saving expenses versus a more comprehensive approach? It depends how it turns out and whether or not you’ll ever need a translation again. With a language service provider, there are oftentimes cost savings due to the leveraged use of translation memory, legacy archives and time saved from not getting things edited or re-translated again. They’ve already done the work and found the professional translators we all rely on.

What Facebook teaches us about globalization and translation

What Facebook teaches us about globalization and translationLove it or hate it, Facebook continues to keep the world wrapped around its finger. If you need proof of its world dominance, take a look Facebook’s most recent annual report.

Here are just a few of the surprising statistics and claims made in the report:

  • Generated $13 billion in the EMEA region;

  • Had a $21 billion economic impact on Central and South America;

  • Had a $100 billion economic impact on the United States

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5 medical device industry trends that affect translation

5 medical device industry trends that affect translationAs the science and technology industry continues to update and evolve at a rapid clip, so does your translation needs. Industry trends directly affect the way you present your medical device translations. Without keeping your product labels, marketing materials, and usage guides up-to-date in all languages, you could put your company at risk of losing sales – or worse.

Here are five medical device industry trends that will require you to take a second look at your translations.

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How to localize a medical device translation for your website

How to localize a medical device translation for your websiteOne of the costliest mistakes global businesses make is not localizing their medical device translation content. Localization goes beyond basic translation work: it involves digging into the local culture, getting to know what drives consumers in various areas to buy, and learning about the areas where your sales team does business.

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Terminology management software for your translation needs

Terminology management software for your translation needsWhen you’re reading a product label or instruction booklet, how much jargon do you see? Chances are quite a bit.

Jargon and technical terms fill the pages of documentation across all industries. High compliancy industries are especially prone to seeing technical verbiage in content. When translating these terms, many translators get stuck or confused.

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Notarized Translations: What is a notarized translation and do you need it?

Notarized Translations: What is a notarized translation and do you need it?Translations extend beyond product labels, booklets, and printed materials. There are some documents that need to get sent to the authorities and officials to aid in a case or a decision. If that’s the case with your text, you might require a notarized translation.

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6 things to know about marriage certificate translation

6 things to know about marriage certificate translationCongratulations! You’re married and now it’s time to start your life with the person you love. As a blissful newlywed, you want that life to begin right away. However, if your marriage happened overseas and you want to move to the United States, you might need to have your marriage certificate translated.

Marriage certificate translation is more complex than it might seem on the surface. Because it’s a legal document, it requires a knowledgeable translator to complete the work required by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS.)

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The pitfalls of inconsistent patient-reported outcomes translations

The pitfalls of inconsistent patient-reported outcomes translationsFor years, translations of patient reported outcomes (PROs) have had inconsistencies. The way the translations are managed and the way they are published vary from practice to practicThis can cause tremendous difficulty in the pharmaceutical and medical field. Without proper information, how will patients understand what they need to live a healthy life?

Here are some of the pitfalls faced by the industry.

Inconsistent terminology

There are various ways to describe the same work. For example, if you plan to test a new translation on a small group of people to ensure accuracy and comprehension it can have two different names – “pilot testing” or “cognitive debriefing.”

It’s inconsistent verbiage like those two terms that confuses people in the pharmaceutical and medical industry.Although both cognitive debriefing and pilot testing can use a small group of people, pilot testing can also refer to testing on a larger group of people. This can have a profound impact on the meaning of a text depending on the context. In translations of PROs, this can change the meaning from language to language.

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The importance of cognitive debriefing in the medical device space

The importance of cognitive debriefing in the medical device spaceHave you ever sat across the table from a someone whose native language was different than yours and wondered how well they understood you? Did you ask a non-English speaker a question and receive an unusual response in return?

Context and nuances lose meaning across translation. What might seem obvious in one language could mean something completely different in another.

Having a slight misunderstanding in a friendly conversation might not be a huge deal, but in your medical device marketing, it is. Misunderstandings could cost money, lose sales, and cause a host of legal problems. To avoid these catastrophes, cognitive debriefing is essential. Read more

Barriers keeping post-edited machine translation from being more widespread

Barriers keeping post-edited machine translation from being more widespreadIt’s a sad reality. We live in a world where instant gratification is a demand, not a luxury. When a job needs finishing, you, your project, and your clients cannot afford to wait.

In spite of the high demands for projects to get finished, wait times still exist. With only 24 hours in a day, jobs that rely on human intellect and skill are often slowed when a translator reaches capacity.

As the demand for immediate results increases, so does the technology to help companies like yours. This is certainly the case in the translation industry today.

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