Friendly user guide to translation services (part 3)

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In the last two posts (part 1 and part 2) we went over the first few things to check before choosing a translation company.

Briefly, do you choose a simple translation with no proofreading to get the gist of the document you have received in a different language or do you need the full service which included a two-step translation guaranteeing you accuracy and precision.

We also looked at the deadline and quick turnaround and addressed the issue of localisation, i.e. getting the correct language for the country (Brazilian Portuguese for Brazil, etc.).

In this third and last post, we are addressing the question of how are you truly 100% sure that what you receive is good, accurate and is actually the translation of your document?

That is a big question and here you have to select an agency you trust, which has reputable clients and no bad star on Google! Make sure they are real (many fake agencies exist, however one phone call and you’ll be certain if they are genuine people or if the phone is never answered!), then check their website, do not hesitate to ask for references, past jobs they have completed and even examples of past assignments. If they are serious, they will have a few projects they can show you and after signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), will be happy to share these with you.

As regards to NDA, there is no need to worry, your agency will have one or you can send one from your company they should be able to sign and you can start your translation process as soon as you have received this and are satisfied. It is a little bit like Las Vegas: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, well, the same applies for translators who have sworn to keep confidential information in any document they translate.

With respect to quality: you might decide to send the translated document to your partner in another country and then they criticise the translation. At this stage it is good to remember that when one of your colleagues writes a proposal, a brochure or any other text, most of the time you will write it differently. This is often what happens when a translation is reviewed. A ‘small’ instead of ‘tiny’, a ‘big’ instead of ‘large’… small differences but if someone wants to rewrite a piece, they will always find another way to say something differently. So, before going back and doubting the translation, ask the agency for their proofread document with Track Changes: that should show you that real people did perform the translation and that another real person had the important task of proofreading adding /amending/deleting things. Often sending the original translation and the proofread version to the person who is not happy will help them see that the translation has been performed correctly and that there are many ways to write the same sentence.

These few steps will ensure you to get a quality translation suited to your requirements in the language(s) you need, respecting your deadline and your budget. Adios Google translate!