If you want to expand your business to a more global market, you need to use translation services. Customers frequently have doubts about which translation agency they should select. We can offer you some information so that you have a better understanding of the role of translation agencies and find it easier to make a decision.
- Why use a translation agency?
- Why choose one translation agency instead of another?
- What is better, a translation agency or a freelance translator?
Why use a translation agency?
One of the benefits of a translation agency is the portfolio of specialities when creating specific work teams to work in a specific area, and the range of languages available. In our case, for example, we have specific work groups specialising in finance, medicine, tourism, law, etc., as well as a wide range of languages, to provide a high-quality result.
Translation agencies usually have a staff of professional translators who can take on urgent translations, one of the types of translation most frequently requested by some business sectors. It is also very important that the translation agency guarantee that deadlines are always met, and can offer alternatives or overcome unexpected problems, thus making sure that work is delivered on time to their customers.
A translation agency’s staff usually includes other professional profiles that give added value to the final project. This includes proofreaders, who re-read and correct the translations to ensure the quality of the final work, as well as layout experts, specialists in translation tools, human resources and administration staff, etc. These professionals facilitate customer service to speed up translators’ work and be closer to customers.
Why choose one translation agency instead of another?
Doubts plague you. You run a business and you want it to get a leg up, but it seems that it’s no longer enough to communicate or sell only in Spanish. So, you think that the perfect solution is to hire a translation agency to give you a hand. But… what to do? After going through all the business cards, trying to find a contact on LinkedIn and asking all your office co-workers, the only thing left is… Google. “translation Madrid”, “English-Spanish translation Madrid”, “English-Spanish legal documents translation agency Madrid”… Narrowing down the search gives better results, but how do you choose among the many results?
The speed of response
At Okodia – Grupo traductor we believe that one of the first things to look at when assessing which agency is the best one for you is their response time. If you call them up or send a request for a quote using a contact form, your request should get a response in less than 1 hour.
It goes without saying that you should consider their office hours and try to provide all the relevant details on the project you need done right from the start: source language of the file, language that you want it translated into, type of text, number of pages, document format and delivery times. Providing all this information makes it so much easier for the translation manager to get the quote ready. Together with speed, it’s always important to consider feedback from other companies that have previously worked with the agency. These can be found on the translation provider’s own website. In case of doubt, you can also ask for references or the depth and breadth of their experience in that particular field. If, for example, you need the translation of a clinical trial, you can ask them what other projects they have done in this field.
The project manager will be your point of contact in the agency. It is important for the service to be personalised (and for us not to just be “a number”) and you should always have a point of contact so you can raise any concerns or call if there is a problem. Ensure that you have your own contact person and that they have a thorough understanding of your project. For the outcome to be perfect you need “they know you” rather than “you are just another customer”.
Averigua bien a través de la web o bien preguntando por teléfono si el equipo de traducción está formado y si es nativo. Es importante sabe quiénes manipularán el documento y qué experiencia previa tienen en el sector. También puedes fijarte en los certificados de calidad. We have received ISO9001:2015 and the ISO 17100:2015 (the latter substitutes the UNE15038 that we already had). In 2016 we maintained the ISO9001 and UNE15038 certification, and upgrading to new regulations means that the translation company has established quality working practices, as well as investing in projects completed by professional translators, placing quality above low-cost pricing.
Turning to a translation agency with quality certification is an asset for any company or person who requires language services. Quality certification is a document obtained by the agency having undergone and evaluation of their services and working practices. The certificate therefore proves that the quality system implemented meets the appropriate benchmark standards.
…And the price?
Of course, we haven’t forgotten about the price, we just wanted to make clear that price is not the only factor when it comes to selecting one supplier or another. Agencies normally charge by the word and this charge will vary depending on factors such as language combination, type of text (literary, certified, scientific, etc.) and the number of repetitions, for example.
And of course, be wary of bargains. In recent years the proportion of fake translators has grown in an unimaginable way. The significant imbalance between supply and demand means that companies have to use all their weapons to stay in the market. One of the tricks is to reduce their quotes or, in other words, take part in a so-called “price war”. 2×1, immediate discounts, big offers … Large companies have saturated the market with “irresistible” offers to attract and retain customers. This pricing policy has consequences and one of these directly affects SMEs and freelancers: the market has got used to low prices and demands large reductions in quotes. You might well ask what ethics has to do with all this. Well, a lot.
What’s the trick to offering lower quotes than the competition? Reducing the final quality of the product, the quality of the translation. That’s unethical. At Okodia translation services we guarantee that the customer receives the best quality for the job entrusted to us. After all, our best advertisement is a job well done.
What is better, a translation agency or a freelance translator?
A good professional freelance translator can do a perfectly good job. However, a translation agency has different professionals, so generally has the availability to respond to a job more quickly than a freelance translator. In addition, it is recommendable for all jobs, after their translation, to be proofread by a specialist to ensure that the results are optimal: consistent use of terms, register of the text, spelling, consistency throughout the text, etc. While a translator always performs the job with the greatest possible accuracy and professionalism, at times, even in agencies, little details can be missed.
Similarly, we should not forget the importance of the role of the translation project manager who is responsible for selecting the right professional for the project given their experience and profile , as well as advising the customer and being the permanent point of contact in the event of queries or last minute changes. At times customers can also request the services of layout editors or SEO experts, when the translation relates to graphic design or websites, so several professionals are involved in a single translation job. It is clear that a translation agency has more human and technical resources, which is why the rates charged by an agency are not directly comparable to those of a freelance translator.