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How to select a translation service provider?

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When you do not know the language, it becomes a challenge to select the right service provider who will do justice to the translation task. Translation being a human endeavor there is no guarantee that the translation will be without any mistake. However one can select the translation service provider by giving rating points on

  1. The translator selection process followed by the agency
  2. The work-flow process followed to ensure quality
  3. The technology used to ensure accuracy and speed

A.    Understand the translator selection process:

A good translation services provider considers translators as their assets and goes about empaneling them regularly. This way the agency is able to build resources of professional translators classified by language and by type of specialization. Asking the service provider for the process they follow could be the starting point of the selection method.

A typical process that is being followed for empaneling translators is as under:

Selection of Translators:

Selection is based on translators who meet the following parameters

  • Language Pair for translation. The target language should be the translator’s native language
  • Specialization in a domain area
  • Knowledge of source language and command over target language and the subject matter
  • Must have translated at least 100,000 words
  • Qualified in their technical areas
  • Conversant with latest CAT tools
  • Copy of Certificates, Awards, Membership
  • Residence Proof
  • Reference and clearance by impaneled writer for quality

Evaluation of Translators:

  • Sample Translation: A sample translation task is given to the translator. The source content will be industry-specific in order to test the capability. The translator is asked to translate in the language where is qualified.
  • Back Translation: Once the translated file is received, another translator is chosen to back-translate the content into English.
  • Validation: Internal validator/Editor compares the source English with the back-translated English and marks differences/discrepancies
  • Report: The Project Manager discusses discrepancies with the translator and back-translator to arrive at a rating point.

Empanelment of Translators:

The translators who score above average rating points are empanelled with rate agreement. This will enable keeping a bank of resources with domain experience so that whenever projects come for translation, they can be assigned straight away to them without going through the process of selection and evaluation every time.

Shakti Enterprise, an ISO certified professional translation service provider has a full-time Resource Manager whose task is to invite writer participation for selection process periodically in order to keep a bank of translators either on a contract basis or on a freelance basis with prior agreement on rates. This process reduces the time taken prior to assignment and turn-around-time is that much quicker. The quality of translation is also assured. When it comes to reducing the rate for a particular project, it becomes easier to negotiate.

B.    the work-flow process followed to ensure quality:

Poor quality of translation gets unnoticed till you get any serious complaint from the reader. In many cases, they lead to disconnect with the customer and the very purpose of communication gets defeated. A good translation service provider will not compromise on quality by employing cheap or amateur translator just to gain margin on the order received. They will, on the contrary, understand the purpose for which the translation is meant and accordingly tailor the process.

A typical workflow process that is being followed to ensure quality is as under:

Pre-Translation Process:

  • Understand the Scope of Work: Project Manager gets an approved quotation of a client with the briefing note as well as the source file with mandataries to be taken into account. Based on the deliverables, he/she makes an assessment on the scope work. If the job involves communicating to certain target in a certain country, he will make the note on localizing needs as well as other aspects such as image change, Proofing requirement, typesetting, and other DTP needs.

If there are any elements not included, he discusses the same with the clients and re-confirms the project needs

  • Translator Selection: Project Manager assigns the responsibility to a coordinator who will select an appropriate translator who matches the skill set and has the domain expertise matching the category needs.

Selection of an appropriate translator itself ensures 50% of quality needs

  • File Preparation using CAT tools: The source file is exported in CAT tools such as SDLX or Trados to arrive at word count, duplicated words, and repetitions to arrive at actual word count for translation. The portion that requires translation is ready to be sent to the translator.

Leveraging technology not only saves on the cost of translation but gives consistent quality

  • Agree on Timelines: The project coordinator sends the file to translation and gets confirmation on deliverables and timeline for completion of translation. He/She coordinates with the client and confirms deliverables and timeline.

Translation Process:

  • Project Coordination: Project Coordinator coordinates with the translator and briefs him on the project requirements. He/She sends useful information such as client guidelines, the target profile, glossaries, style guide and provides clarification if any that arises throughout the cycle of the project. on the doubts.He/She clarifies on any doubts from the translator.

It is a responsibility of Project Coordinator to ensure a quality of translation. As he is in charge of the project, he liaises with client and keeps them updated, acts as a via media on aspects of translation from start to completion.

Post-Translation Process:

Quality Check: Once the translation is received, it is imported on CAT tools (Computer Aided Translation) to check if all contents are translated. Missing lines are shown. Inconsistencies of translation for the same word, terminology inconsistency, mandataries such as phonetic translation or retaining original text which does not require translation are all revealed.

The inconsistencies in this mechanical review are sorted out and final file is received from translation with all corrections incorporated. Depending on the nature of project, proof checking by another professional writer becomes compulsory to check the quality of translation, cultural variation between source copy and translation for the region are checked.

DTP Proof Check: Once a proof check file is received it is re-formatted to maintain the style of original layout. DTP proof check is done by an internal review team who understands and can direct the DTP for changing the font size, leading and other layout function which makes the file ready for printing.

Final Review by Project Manager: Before delivering the translated file the project manager does the comparison check and ensure cosmetic changes if required are done.Client observations are sorted out and a job completion report is sent.

C.     The technology used to ensure accuracy and speed:

Use of latest CAT tools software like Trados 2007, Trados Studio 2011, Word Fast Pro, Translation Workspace, Memo Q etc… helps in creating translation memory bank and terminology management so that translation cost is saved, turn-around-time is reduced while at the same time ensure highest quality with consistency of translated word, phrases and terminology.

Rely on Shakti for global language translation

As business continues to globalize, multi-lingual translation plays a vital role in communicating your message.

Rely on Shakti Enterprise to guide you in your language needs. We are ISO and DIN certified translation service provider with project management team who will coordinate to see that your multilingual communication resonates with the same power of clarity as a source language.

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