Ordering a test translation in Translation agency is a real way of defining quality.
You plan to buy translations from a new translation agency. Why not asking a test translation from several suppliers, and choose a supplier, whose translations you need more? Latest estimates show that there is a huge amount of translation agencies that work globally and buyers of their services seek to receive qualitative texts. Prevailing logic is that a test translation will grant you access both to subjective and objective information, which will help you making a decision. You will know more about your potential suppliers and you will be able to value the quality of work of various suppliers.
When lunching a new product a company goes through a series of stages before an actual lunch takes place. Market assessments, competitor’s assessments, prototype development, product testing, receiving licenses from supervision agency in case of necessity and many other processes. These processes are necessary to guaranty that a product will be successful and consist of many parts of business.
You can steel decide, what you want to include in a test translation as part of your choice. One of the earliest decisions that you will have to make is whether to pay for test translations. You will have to expect to pay for a test or potential suppliers will have to expect to perform free test translations as part of translation process. It means that your business has to discuss the needs of internal interested parties before than starting process of choice. It also means that you will have to choose the best supplier for your needs.
When you buy a new car, you can take it for test-drive. When you buy a new house, you can usually view experimental house, but approach to services often differs. Hairdressers and hairstylists often have a portfolio of photos that show various hair styles. If you want a designer to create a new portal of electronic commerce for you web-site, the best that you can usually hope for, is to see examples of such places that this designer previously created.
Most translation agencies are commercially realistic and have enough financial stability to plan some unannounced work, as it is a part of advertising services. However any experienced supplier will have to perform a kind of calculation and if numbers will not satisfy him, he will have to take measures. For example, test translation can be made as part of the next paid order.
While test translation will only show, if supplier suit you, a general strait technical test is not likely to differentiate one supplier from another. Difficult test that requires special knowledge is more likely to find a suitable partner, as when it comes to valuing a translation, your specialists inside a country will accept it and value that what they view as a right and proper translation. If translation agency provided a solid translation of a specialized text, it is likely that they made a certain amount of linguistic evaluation of a test document and then continued to choose translators with interest to this field of texts instead of sending the text to general linguists.
A note concerning advertising materials: it is extremely difficult for suppliers of linguistic services to find a proper “voice” for your local marketing strategy, based on disposable test translation. Besides, marketing evaluation is more a subject for subjective criteria and preferences. Possibly they will be able to provide high qualitative marketing translation services, but it will be easier to achieve, as soon as you have chosen a supplier, with whom you want to cooperate.
The point of a test translation should be to help you choose a suitable translation agency. To make this process faster and more successful you should provide an executant with some additional information.
Send him some useful reference material. For example, if your technical authors use style manual offer its copy to a translation who prepares a test translation. If your organization invested money into multilanguage glossaries of terminology or localization style manuals, show them to suppliers of linguistic services, so that they have the best instruments at their dispose.
Make sure that you create a transparent process. Allow your suppliers to ask some questions and expect them to do so. Explain criteria of changing test and build in a response mechanism into your project. From a point of view of a translation agency there are not many things more unpleasant to hear than a response that you failed a test translation without further explanation of the concrete reason. Response allows a supplier to value their work and make changes in future tasks.
You should guarantee that there is a formal methodology for evaluation of the quality of a sample, and that it is not subjective. This allows you to provide an intellectual, compartmentalize response for suppliers who took part in a test. There are many available structures of valuation of a standard quality where each mistake falls into a certain category based on experience according to standard scale.
At best test translations offer a small part in a full variety of evaluating and choosing a supplier of linguistic services. To successfully choose a right provider for your process, transfer, touch, criticize and listen attentively to him.