Professionalism is always a plus. As it is for any job. Have you ever gone to buy something and been given a personal email address as the contact details of the person making the sale? Wouldn’t that seem unprofessional and leave a bad taste in your mouth? It’s exactly the same in the world of translation. That’s why our translation agency wants to help you understand how to tell a professional translator from an amateur or one who is just starting out.
- The price
- The email address
- The email signature
- More services than you can imagine
- Time is money
- Spelling mistakes
- Are there gaps?
The first clue, the price
When you need a website translated, for example, and put an advert on the Internet to get the most competitive offers, you will find a bit of everything. Very low prices and prices that are sky high. Both of these should make you stop and think as they suggest that they are amateur translators who have just started out and are not sure about the market. It’s easier for a professional translation agency to find professional translators and offer a fairer price that reflects the professionalism of the person, the words to be translated, the urgency of the task and the language.
The email address
This clue does not always work since there are some very good professional translators out there who do not have their own website, so they work with their personal email address. However, when you want to be professional you always seek to do this in all areas. At Okodia Translation Services you will never see a project manager writing to you using their personal email address. They will always use their professional one. This always offers a better image, it conveys that we are an established professional translation company, not amateurs.
The email signature
Have you commissioned a translation job? Have you noticed the email signature? If you see a logo with the signature of that person and a warning about the Law on the Protection of Personal Data, there is no doubt that it is a professional translator in every way. It is their way of differentiating themselves from the rest.
More services than you can imagine
Another difference between a professional translator and an amateur is that an amateur will often be happy to translate any language. In contrast, a professional translator, as we know at Okodia, is normally specialised in one or two languages and these are the ones they generally work with. We have other equally well qualified professionals for other language and can draw upon our extensive team of translators every time we receive a commission. That’s what sets us apart.
Time is money
Any task takes a certain amount of time to perform correctly. Ideally, a translation should go through several phases: a preliminary reading to understand the context, translation, a first review, spelling and grammar correction, style correction, a second review, a full reading and delivery (all these steps form an endless loop until the result of each task is right).
As you can see, these steps cannot be taken in those five minutes that “my cousin who did Erasmus in Bristol” will tell you it takes to send you the thousand-word file you urgently need, right?
This is one of the most important clues that will help you to spot a bad translation. If a translator does not have a full grasp of their own language, should we really expect them to produce an error-free text? Take a good look at how they write when you exchange emails. It could be a good clue for spotting the difference between a translator who is good and one who is not.
Are there gaps?
If the original text was written over 15 pages for example, is it logical for the translated text to only require 10 pages? This will depend on the language into which it is translated, as some are longer than others, but it may be a valuable warning. One problem that happens at times is rushing, rushing and rushing. In this case, there is no time for that valuable review that would detect any missing parts.