If you need something translating, you have a few options:
- Do it yourself (lucky you!)
- Use Google Translate (WITH CAUTION)
- Phone a friend (preferably one with language skills…)
- Find a freelance translator (where would you start?!)
Or you might decide to work with an agency!
Language agency, translation agency, language service provider (LSP) – whatever you want to call us, there are several advantages of choosing to go via an agency than any of the other routes mentioned above!
So what exactly can a translation agency do for you?1. Find the right man or woman for the job!
Agencies have lots of translators on their books. And they will know what each translator can and can’t do (availability, specialist areas, whether they have computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools at their disposal…).
If you have a legal text or a medical document that you need translating, you’ll want someone with experience in that field to do the job! Let’s face it, you might be able to speak English but it doesn’t mean you understand the language’s legal jargon!
And when we say lots of translators, we should probably point out that we mean lots of GOOD translators. We work with over 4000 highly qualified, carefully selected translators who have years of experience in their specialist subject areas!
We also make sure that they’re native speakers of the target language and based in the country where the target content will be used! This might mean finding a UK-based native Urdu speaker to translate a text into Urdu that will be used in the UK – phew!2. Do all the boring bits for you!
Translation agencies do the boring stuff so you don’t have to!
And this includes working some extra magic to save you some money!
Project managers at translation agencies will run the source text through translation software to perform various tasks, such as:
- Counting words
- Segmenting the text into manageable chunks
- Analysing how much of the text is repeated
If a word or phrase is repeated later on in the text in exactly the same context, you don’t pay for this to be translated!
This gives the translator an idea of how much work is involved and also saves you money!
Agencies also make use of translation memories to ensure that their translations are consistent and written to a high standard. The translation memory will store words and phrases that have been translated previously, meaning that when they appear in a future text, the translator will know how they have been translated before!3. Added extras!
We don’t just translate a text and send it straight back to you in a Word document, oh no… we can also arrange the translation based on the layout and design of the source text!
This means that we can account for factors like the target language being a lot wordier than the source language, or the fact that the target language is written from right to left while the source language is written from left to right…
Basically once we’re done, the translation will look like a clean, professional document in its own right!
And one of the most important extras that we offer – proofreading!
Proofreading is crucial to ensure that the text has been accurately translated.
Here’s what our proofreaders will look for:
- Check the meaning of the source text has been conveyed accurately and in an appropriate style
- Check numbers against the source text to make sure there aren’t any discrepancies
- Check that there aren’t any parts of the text that have been left in the source language
- Check that the spelling, punctuation and grammar is up to scratch
Basically a whole load of checking!
When the translator has spent days working on the target text and trying to get it just right, they can easily miss subtle mistakes.
You’d be surprised what a fresh pair of eyes can uncover!4. Not just a one-trick pony
The reason translation agencies are also called language service providers (or LSPs) is because they tend not to just offer translation services…
We also offer interpreting services, including face to face, telephone, consecutive and simultaneous!
And we also provide voice-overs and transcription services!
Whatever your language need, we’ll be able to help!
And if you’re not sure whether you need a translator or an interpreter, or a consecutive or a simultaneous interpreter, we’ll be able to set you straight as well!
Of course we have to point out that all of the above only applies to reputable translation agencies!
Beware of the agencies out there that promise the world for peanuts! And those that show off about their fantastic translations without anything to back it up – no testimonials from regular clients or any proof of certification…
In fact, just look no further than Tongue Tied!
If you have any questions about any of the services we offer or anything else in this newsletter, please do get in touch!