This forum is for those interested in problems of modern linguistics and translation.
Jan 2010, 20:40, Mark Kit
How can I select a provider to translate my text?
The answer depends on what goals you pursue and is determined by composition of the following factors:
Required quality of translation
Dependability of the service provider
The ratio between these factors is driven by your goals. Here are the potential options, starting with least critical:
The translation is just a formality, most likely no one will read it, you only have to provide some kind of translated materials.
The translation is important but intended for discussions with your foreign colleagues. Even if something is wrong there they will understand and would not blame you for that.
The translation is of critical importance. It is a contract, a bidding proposal, a feasibility study, etc. Here each word is important.
With the first option you may order your translation anywhere or even do it using automatic translation tools (machine translation). The main criterion in selection of the language service provider (LSP) is low cost and some qualification of the LSP.
With the second option it is necessary to understand what would be the cost of lost time if translation errors cause misunderstanding. Example: a meeting with three foreign colleagues or partners coming from abroad. A one day delay due to poor communications and, as a result, inability to reach an agreement will cause additional costs for hotel expenses and plain ticket exchange. This cost can easily reach a few thousand dollars. So, in this option it is important to find the optimal ratio translation cost/quality. Imperfect but generally correct and clear translation can suffice. Here when selecting an LSP its reputation, expertise and due-date dependability should be verified and weighed against the cost.
The third option calls for the highest quality of translation, it should be error-free, clear and unambiguous. Here the selection of an LSP is critically important. We highly recommend selecting specialized companies dealing with one-two language pairs versus those who claim they can translate across any languages.
Such firms delegate the job to randomly selected translators thus losing the advantage of knowledge continuity and dependability of people with proven track record. That is why Language Interface deals only with Russian-English and English-Russian translations. This enabled us to build a team of most experienced translators in this field, develop a vast lexical base LexSite , and create a unique knowledge base SIMBA. As a result, we can guaranty that our clients receive flawless translations.
With the second and third option special attention should be paid to confidentiality. Accidental translators or middleman agencies cannot guaranty non-disclosure of information that your materials contain. At Language Interface we make an emphasis on non-disclosure assurance, as required by US law and maintain strict confidentiality with respect to our clients.
Parameters to be taken into account when selecting a service provider:
Volume of the document. Is a single translator capable of completing the job by the deadline? If he/she is then you can give your document to a freelancer although it imposes a risk to get a translation that was never edited or proofread.
Subjects covered in the document. Does it deal with legal issues, special technology, medical research, advertisement and marketing? Does your LSP have the required expertise in these areas? Keep in mind that good translation cannot be produced without clearly understanding your text.
Deadline. How critical is it? If it is important then giving the job to freelancers or unreliable agency is a risky business. Quite often freelancers and agencies take the job relying on a poorly planned process or even knowing beforehand that they are unable to meed the deadline. In such a case the client becomes their hostage: when on the last day he learns that the translation is far from completion he has no time to reorder the translation elsewhere and he has to accept the conditions of the LSP.
You can obtain additional recommendations on selection of your LSP and translation project planning in Language Interface at firstname.lastname@example.org.