How does the translation agency really work?
The translation market is huge and growing more and more every year. The demand for language services attracts not only professional suppliers. Sometimes you can find unscrupulous translation agencies that do not work quite rightly. Customers can not always make the right choice. First of all, many people are attracted by the minimum price, but to understand how the price for the same task can vary greatly, simply there is not enough time or effort.
What is a translation?
Before you understand how much money is worth the translation, you must ask yourself a more basic question: what is a translation? Everyone thinks they know the answer.
There is no standard definition for good or bad translation and it is the nature of any creative work that there will always be arguments about what is good enough and what is not. The good news is that there are methods of the most successful practice that are encountered throughout the industry. The standard process goes something like this:
Before the transfer – the documents are collected, a decision is made that it is necessary to translate whether it is necessary to use additional technologies, such as translation memory, for example, terminology databases, style guides and so on. After all the questions have been clarified, the deadline for which the transfer is to be made and the decision is made about who will execute it. Translation is where the magic happens. A highly educated bilingual professional actually translates words into a new language that reflects the source text in an accurate and perhaps even beautiful way. There are three things that can happen after the end of the work of an interpreter:
The translator checks the finished material – self-test;
The material is given to another linguist, who checks the work word-for-word as compared to the source – editing, this process can increase the cost by 33-40%;
The material is provided to a different linguist who checks the version only in the output language – proofreading, this quality control process adds 15-20% to the price.
Finally, in most cases automated high-speed checks will be done on the content to look for problems that are easy to miss for the human eye, such as double spacing or missing punctuation. These checks can be carried out by an interpreter, editor, proofreader.
How much does a translation really cost?
It’s a free market, so people can ask for what they like, depending on how they evaluate their work, what are their subsistence minimums, whether they start just and want to get work experience, or they are seasoned professionals engaged in long-term customers. But there are established average tariffs when it comes to professional translation. Of course, not all translation agencies adhere to them. Many translators do not agree with them, but most of the language services market is trying to “keep” one price. Translation bureaus often offer translation + editing or proofreading by another translator, which increases the cost.
These rates are for what are called “new words”, while in each project there will also be “repeated words”, which many language service providers offer at a reduced rate thanks to the “Translation Memory” technology.
Translation bureaus can do other work in addition to the translation itself, such as: create style guides and terminology bases, localization development, etc. Short, urgent and technical or creative texts are usually equated to higher indicators, while a simple, long and not urgent translation is cheaper.
Not understanding how translation agencies work today, the reason why there are huge differences in the prices indicated for the language services that you need can be very difficult to determine. Why is one translation bureau ready to do the job almost in vain, while the other seems to be charging unreasonably high prices?
Not every transfer company that you contact will be the same in terms of size and organizational structure. Much like companies in any industry, translation agencies – vary in size and volume.
You can deal with:
Individual entrepreneurs – translation companies in the person of one person, the only interpreter acting under the name of the company;
A small number of “teams” of translators are usually a group of freelancers who cooperate;
Small or medium-sized companies – who will sometimes have some internal interpreters, as well as project managers, etc., and who hires additional freelancers for most projects.
Larger companies – who may have a team of internal translators, and will almost certainly have an internal team of quality assurance specialists and project managers, sales staff, and so on.