- October 18, 2016 /
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- By Ly /
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CHOOSING A PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION PARTNER – WHY AND HOW?
NEON Translations and Localization | Tiido & Partners Language Agency
Ly Tiido-Nurmetalo, Managing Partner
This article explains why translation is necessary in the global business sphere and how to pick the most suitable translation partner.
Although one can still find international companies who do not put sufficient effort into translating the user manuals, descriptions or other relevant documentation of their products and services, this phenomenon is becoming increasingly rare. The key to successful foreign marketing, as any company with even the faintest orientation to sustainability will know, is to translate informative materials into the language of the target market.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES TRANSLATION
The sale and marketing of any service or product, be it on the domestic or foreign market, cannot be efficient unless a clear image of the sales item is provided for the target group. This image can be both visual and verbal. And one important component of a verbal image is the translation of marketing texts. Marketing and sales activities call for a wide variety of materials to be translated, among them all sorts of advertising leaflets, flyers, brochures, product catalogues, websites, web stores and other sources that contain information about your product or service. Above all, translation is necessary for successful sales on different target markets. The customer should understand what they consume and how to consume it.
LOCALIZATION – A TRANSLATION ADAPTED TO THE TARGET MARKET
Unfortunately, translation is often still seen as an activity that can be carried out by anyone with some target language experience. Ordering translations from outside the company tends to be a rare exception. And even then the decision to outsource a translation is often reached too late, once it has become painfully obvious that the home team lacks necessary skills. At the same time, translation has evolved into an independent industry, which is expected to keep growing in the coming years.
Professional marketing translation stands out with its precise terminology, linguistic accuracy, fluent writing and unwavering attention to the cultural background and consumer behaviour of target market clients. In the translation world this is referred to as localization. Needless to say, localization is not your only option when ordering translation. Other translation types include technical translation (user manuals, handbooks) and legal translation (contracts, certificates, reports). Every order can be tailored to the client’s needs. All you have to do is find the right translation partner, who is qualified to translate the texts at hand.
HOW TO CHOOSE A TRANSLATION PARTNER
High-quality translations will bring guaranteed success to your product or service, while simultaneously supporting other marketing activities; whereas substandard translations can be detrimental to the reputation of your company and the future success of the product in question. But how does one find the best suited translation partner?
Everyone knows that a hastily done cheap job will seldom lead to good results; however, when faced with hundreds of translation agencies online, it might be easiest to flip a coin and see who is the cheapest and takes the least time to deliver. This approach works for those companies who do not need translation services on a regular basis and whose success does not depend directly on the quality of the translated text.
But companies who mean business and are striving towards significant development should take heed of the following recommendations on how to choose a translation partner. Be it a translation agency or a freelance translator – requirements depend on the client’s needs. This is what you should take into account when choosing a translation partner:
BACKGROUND AND RELIABILITY
The service provider is reliable and stable, they can ensure that your order is executed according to your requirements and expectations; they have well-established procedures and a network for the quick elimination of obstacles that may arise during the work process;
COMPETENCY AND QUALIFICATION
The service provider’s employees are qualified to provide translation services, fluent in the necessary foreign language, professional terminology and use of language, and well-versed in the characteristics of the target culture.
QUALITY AND SPEED
The service provider has adequate resources to ensure high-quality translations, i.e. they have the means to conduct editing and proofreading; they use modern translation software, which ensures coherent content and terminological consistency in translations;
In addition to translating one language pair, the service provider is able to offer additional and support services, such as translations in other language pairs that you might need (e.g. Estonian-English, German-Estonian), editing, proofreading, DTP and design services, translating advertisements or marketing materials, localization (adapting advertising materials for the target market).
BEST RATIO OF QUALITY AND PRICE
You should not hesitate to pay a decent fee for flexible and operational service and a high-quality final product. Companies who provide translation at a suspiciously cheap price, tend to do so by cutting out one or several stages of the work process, which affects the quality of the finished translation. In addition, a translation partner who provides cheap services might not be very attentive of your client account. You should keep in mind that the price of translation services does not cover translation alone, it also includes project management, translation software, constant maintenance of translation memories and term bases.
Unless your translation volumes are particularly extensive, you will do perfectly fine with a single, stable translation partner who knows the ins and outs of your field. However, if you need help with large translation volumes, complex language combinations and various special solutions, it is better to have a couple of service providers who can fulfil all your translation needs, regardless of the specifics of the text, language pair, speed or other factors.
IT ALL DEPENDS ON NEEDS AND RESOURCES
Clients will make a selection based primarily on their needs and expectations as well as resources. There is a wide array of potential decisive factors – the client might need the translation as quickly as possible, at the lowest possible price or in several languages; they might also need a translation of a very specific document that can only be done by a professional in that field, or just a reliable translation partner who is able to take on all the client’s translation orders. Suffice to say that in today’s global business environment, a company focused on achieving international success will get nowhere without using professional translation services.
* The article was originally published in 2015 in an Estonian business daily Äripäev and in a portal for dentistry professionals www.hambaarst.ee.
Our article “Kliendi rollist erialatõlgete valmimisel” (“The client’s role in professional translation”) was published in Äripäev (a business-themed newspaper) on March, 4, 2014, p. 3 http://leht.aripaev.ee/images/publicationimages/ddb74e2a-aea1-4486-8261-d106d8a57bd8-Paper/issue.pdf
NEON Translations and Localization is an internationally registered trademark of Tiido & Partners Language Agency, which was previously used solely for international cooperation. As of 2015, we have taken the trademark to the domestic market as well. Our company has provided translation services since 2000. We work with clients in the public and private sector, in Estonia and abroad as well. The services of the company have been certified in accordance to international standards ISO 9001:2008 (quality management) and ISO 17100:2015 (requirements for translation services). NEON Translations and Localization | Tiido & Partners Language Agency is a member of the Association of Estonian Translation Companies(www.etbl.ee) and the Globalization & Localization Association (www.gala-global.org ).