Allocating a budget for your translation needs can be a laborious process, but it can often make a big difference to your business. Whether you operate in-country or across-the-border, the multi-cultural world we live in makes translation a key component in most businesses today. Although you may have a fair idea of the money you’re willing to spend on this particular requirement, it would be useful to gain an understanding of how to get the biggest bang for your buck, as it were. Naturally, there are translation services and there are translation services, and knowing your way around the industry’s best practices will give you a measure of leverage where quality is concerned. As the customer, you are king, after all.
The Second Reviewer Option
One of the first things you need to consider is the accuracy of your translated material. Different types of translation demand different skills, and your agency should be able to provide the specific skill that applies to your work. For example, if you require medical transcripts to be translated, then a translator with experience in that area will be able to do the best job. From a budgetary perspective, it would then be prudent to pay for a second reviewer to go over the work of the translator. A second professional opinion by another native-level expert in the target language would be in your best interest. This, therefore, will maximize the yield of whatever you spend on the job. Cutting corners in this particular area could cost your business more than it saves.
Choosing your Source Material
When you’re on a budget, it can be tempting to “set aside” some of the material to be translated for an internal resource to handle. This is a big mistake. People who speak two languages – even fluently – are not translators. Companies and business entities that do this can end up paying a hefty price in the form of CoPQ, or the Cost of Poor Quality. An extreme example of this is a hospital in France that tried to save time or money (or whatever) when it needed a translation for an operation manual for one of its radiation therapy machines. To cut a long story short, the hospital ended up giving massive radiation overdoses to several patients, who subsequently died – simply because a bilingual member of the staff thought they could do as well as a professional translator. Don’t let this happen to you.
Selecting a Translation Service
Not the least of your focus should be on selecting the right agency for the job. In this case, cheaper is NOT better. Why? Because low-quality work can cost you money – not when you pay the bill, but when your target audience gets the translated material! There is case after case that shows that cutting corners when choosing a translation service can lead to disastrous results. Notwithstanding the case of the French hospital in the previous example, even an agency that lacks the experience to handle specialised work can, sometimes, enthusiastically take on a task that it is not prepared to handle. Be sure that the agency you choose has the necessary experience and expertise to fulfil your project requirements – and then some. Check if they follow project management best practices, have optional second reviewers and other elements of a professional organisation. Your money will be well-spent on such an agency.
Translation is a vast field of study that has many specialities. Finding an agency that is reliable and dependable is not an easy task. With so many online options, the only solution is to research them thoroughly before awarding your business. That being said, the ideal translation agency will be your partner in success for many years to come.