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.

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.)

Read more

How to maximize your relationship with your translator

How to maximize your relationship with your translatorThe relationship you have with your translator is perhaps one of the most important factors in the success of your translation. It has a direct impact on the quality of work you receive, how efficient your project is, and how quickly it reaches completion.

Choosing the right person to fill the role is the first step toward optimizing your translation project. Once you’ve found a good match, you must continue to manage your translator to achieve the best outcome in your project.

No matter which industry you’re in, there are four main steps that your relationship with your translator will go through during the life cycle of your project.

Read more

Writing for a global audience

Writing for a global audienceWhen targeting an audience as large as the globe, writing becomes exponentially more difficult. Hidden meanings, symbolism, and abbreviations all are easy to get lost in translation. To avoid offending other cultures, losing the overarching ideas in your text, or unintentionally including non-relevant contextual information, you must follow a few writing guidelines.

Read more

Does localization REALLY matter to your customers?

Does localization REALLY matter to your customers?Budgets are tight these days. If your business is like so many others, you go to great lengths to make the smartest spending decisions for your company. You research products and services before you make a purchase and estimate the return you will see on your investment.

Read more

5 tips for writing your documents for translation

5 tips for writing your documents for translationYou operate on a global scale. That means that there is a good chance that, at some point, you will need some of your documents translated into another language. From your website to your product packaging, localizing your content is crucial.

Read more

5 steps to happiness: how BURG project managers work to ensure your translation’s success

5 steps to happiness: how BURG project managers work to ensure your translation's successWhen it comes to translation, having the right team on board is vital. With so many moving parts, your happiness with the project depends on the quality and skill of your project manager.

Read more

What is an in-country review?

What is an in-country review?When it comes to your translation project, how do you know if the end result is a “good enough” or “high quality” translation? Quality control is difficult, if not impossible, unless you understand the local dialect and culture at the level of a native speaker.

To overcome this, the translation industry uses a practice called “in-country review,” or ICR. The goal of this type of review is to ensure translations are accurate both in product specifications and local dialects. By having an ICR for your translation project, you add one more step of quality assurance.

Read more

Language translation problems: 5 examples of roadblocks translators come up against

Language translation problems: 5 examples of roadblocks translators come up againstSometimes language translation problems due to differences in culture or language can prolong a translation project. Idiomatic expressions, as well as dialects and a translator’s tone of voice can create a million different possibilities within a translation. Here are 5 examples of what we’ve seen that can cause a bottleneck in a project.

1. Names can be difficult to translate

Read more

How much does industry expertise play into translation?

How much does industry expertise play into translation?When embarking on a first translation project with the assistance of a language service provider, it’s important for a company to manage its expectations in terms of how well the company can dive into its specific niche.  Many factors go into the determined success of a translation project, including:

  • The expectations of a client (some will have more feedback on style than others)

  • The translator’s knowledge of the particular industry

  • The translator’s ability and experience in translating

Industry expertise versus translation skill

When it comes to the translation industry, there are three types of professionals:

Read more