How a translation agency works

Par Alice Judéaux | 16 March 2016 How a translation agency works

The inner workings of a translation agency can seem quite opaque to an outsider. This aura of mystery doesn’t work for us, so let’s see how TradOnline does business.

What does a translation agency do?

There is a great difference between larger and smaller companies, so the services a translation agency provide can differ greatly (hint: a simple no-frills translation is hardly ever a simple no-frills translation).

At TradOnline, here is what we offer our clients:

Translation

Surprise, surprise! French to English translations and English to French translations, as well as various combinations involving English, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian are some of our most popular “products”. We also collaborate with Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Thai or Malaysian language professionals among many others, carefully picked throughout the years we’ve been doing business.

We translate documents in any format you can throw at us, and we are familiar an array of online translation management systems. The type of documents we translate vary: medical, legal, customer relationship management and marketing, and many others.

Proofreading

If you have translated a text or you have a translation you’d like to check for typos or how naturally it reads to a native of that language, translators can proofread that text for you. They will know what to look for to make sure the translation is in line with your expectations: the text should read naturally in translation, while keeping the rhetorical structure of the original.

Revision

The revision of a text goes deeper than proofreading. We’re talking about looking at the translation carefully and correcting the style and potentially the grammar. Depending on the volume of the text and the quality of the translation you’re sending in to be revised, we might advise you to start again from scratch (i.e. translate again), as it takes more time to correct a badly translated text than starting afresh with the translation.

Putting it all together: how does a translation agency work?

Our project managers have several workflows they will apply depending on the situation: the type of source text, the number of languages we need to translate into, frequency of incoming texts to translate, and turnaround times.

The human aspect is an important one, as translations ultimately are done by linguists (people) for your clients (also people) and thus we are not translating machines but ultimately a translation agency coordinated by humans.

We pride ourselves in being there for our clients throughout the translation process, from the moment we issue a quote to resolving various problems that might pop up during the translation phase, and even after the translation is completed.

Our sales team contacts potential clients who are then directed to project managers who understand their specific needs. Once we establish the type of translation most suitable for you, we send you a quote. After you accept it, we contact the translators and proofreaders most suited for the job at hand, according to their native language (target language), the languages they translate from (source languages), and their specialisations.

Who is translating you ask? Our mega-army of in-house translators gulping down more coffee than Starbucks could stock? Well, it’s actually freelance translators who we test and select based on their domains of expertise and experience. They are often specialised in one or two areas. You will rarely find a medical translator doing legal translation work and vice-versa.

What is the price of a translation?

To be honest, we won’t give away all of our secrets, nor will we deprive ourselves of the pleasure of communicating with you once you’ve sent us a question regarding translation.

Jokes aside, it would be impossible to give you a price list because these rate change: each project is different and a quote for a straight-forward legal document of 3500 words that needs translating from French to English will be different than, say, an online translation for 15 languages from English, encompassing different styles (legal, marketing, etc.), especially as the project manager will need to spend more time on one project than on the other 😉

So while paying for translation isn’t exactly like going down the aisle at the supermarket and picking the best value goat’s milk, you can look at a translation as an investment in your company’s image. We are very practical and will advise you to the best of our abilities on how not to go overboard with the spending while still getting quality translations.

You might have noticed, our translation agency has its own way of handling things. Other agencies might only deal with translations. Some only work with a limited number of languages, or fields of activity.

Go ahead and send us a request for a quote here 🙂


    MsMr