SEGMENT 4: WHAT A TRANSLATION AGENCY DOES FOR YOU (OTHER THAN TRANSLATION)
If you are new to translation, you are yet to realise all the tasks that must be performed in the process. Translation is a business process – and is much more complicated than most people think. Without getting into too many intricacies, let’s cover some of the most important areas of work usually covered by professional translation agencies.
Our clients work in a variety of fields, but none of them are experts in translation. If they were, they would not need us! It is a translation agency’s job to listen to the client, help them define their translation needs, discuss available solutions, and advise on the best processes. This is an ongoing process, even in long-term business arrangements, as each project is a different text, with a different context and a different set of deadlines and requirements.
PLANNING AND INTRODUCING OPTIMAL TRANSLATION PROCESSES
Once the exact type of translation service is selected, a proper process must be introduced (for first-time clients) or adjusted (for long-standing clients). The translation agency will also inform clients of new tech solutions and opportunities, and provide additional information and management support if needed.
PROVIDING CAPACITY TO GUARANTEE PROJECT DELIVERY
A translation agency works with in-house linguists, external providers and freelancers to make sure it always has the right people working on a given text (type, topic and language pair). If a translator falls sick or goes on holiday, a translation agency should be able to find a good replacement so that no project is delayed.
ASSUMING AND ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITY
A translation agency takes full responsibility for delivering a translation within the deadline and budget, and to the agreed quality standard. A translation agency also assigns responsibility for each project to a single project manager; this way, it’s always clear who is responsible for a project and who is the right contact person for the client.
KEEPING YOUR DATA SAFE
Translation is now an online-based process, with content being sent around email servers, cloud solutions and translation software (often SaaS). A translation agency is responsible for implementing security measures and training its teams in the field of data safety.
KEEPING YOUR TRANSLATION MEMORY, GUIDELINES AND REFERENCE MATERIALS UP-TO-DATE AND SAFE
Translation memory is your most important database in translation. It must be up-to-date, and regular back-ups are a good practice.
Guidelines and references determine the style and register, as well as set phrases and keywords.
All three combined are the essential foundations for each new translation project.
A translation agency helps clients create and verify glossaries, guidelines and lists of phrases that don’t require translation (DNT = “do not translate”). Together, the agency and client will determine the correct nature of communication and create a style guide accordingly.
Finally, the project manager will make sure that these documents are used across all translations.
PROVIDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE REGARDING SOURCE FILES
Sometimes clients struggle with obscure file formats, broken or unfamiliar files that they cannot open but must have them translated. A translation agency usually offers technical assistance regarding problematic files and preparing them for translation (which can be a very time-consuming task performed by project managers and support staff).
OFFERING THE SIMPLEST POSSIBLE CONTRACTING AND INVOICING SCHEME
A translation agency wants to make things easy for its clients. A single contract, a single invoice, a single contact person aware of (or responsible for) all of the client’s projects, consulting, technical assistance and cost optimisation – all of these steps are designed to take the workload off your back, so that you can focus on your core business.