When ordering a translation from a translation agency, you usually evaluate whether you received high-quality service and a good translation after the assignment has been completed. But what if you could assess translation quality in advance? Wouldn’t you seize the opportunity to make sure you really get what you need?
Choosing high-quality service
Professional translation agencies typically have a quality system in place, if not several. A quality system can be compared to the work of a flight crew: the crew has to go over a predetermined checklist before takeoff and follow strict course of action during the flight to prevent accidents from happening.
ISO certification is the most visible sign that a translation agency is committed to high-quality service. It is evidence granted by a third party that tells you the translation agency is invested in quality and strives for continual improvement. When you can trust processes that track quality and continuous development, it’s easier for you to order translation services from a quality-certified company.
Translation purpose sets the direction for quality
Evaluating translation quality is a controversial hotly debated topic in translation, both in academia and business. Where one might see an extremely good translation, the other might regard it as worthless. Translation quality is largely determined by context and what is actually expected from the translation. In order to get a translation that meets your expectations, you should tell the translation agency what the translation’s purpose is and what you expect from it.
Quality is always subjective. Sometimes, a quick translation, where the translation agency omits proofreading with the customer’s permission, can be enough. While it probably would not be advisable to publish this kind oftext on a company’s website, where readers expect to see polished and well-edited text, it might be a perfectly suitable and good translation for internal use within the company.
Reference material supports the translator’s work
Our translators are skilled at searching for information, and many of them specialise in specific industry terminology. However, translators cannot know every terminology-related wish if customers don’t share those with them. By providing our translation agency with reference material, such as glossaries or previously translated texts, you are helping our translators use precisely the terminology you want. Also, let us know if the language found in the reference material is not what you expect from a good translation.
Reference material can also include your organisation’s experts, who our translators may contact when necessary. Our translators are experts in their field, but no one knows your organisation’s terminology better than you.
How you can be sure you get a good translation
- Choose a translation agency with quality certification. A quality system offers a framework for the translation agency’s management. By choosing a certified translation agency, you can be sure that the agency is invested in quality and continually improving its processes.
- Explain to the translation agency the purpose of the translation and what you expect from a good translation.
- If you have any reference material that could support the translation of your text, provide it to the translation agency. This material helps the translator use the correct terminology and style that fits your purpose.