Not all translation agencies are the same.
A professional translation agency, always has a certain reputation in the language field. Turning to qualified translators, you can count on high-quality work, but cannot count on low cost. Although in some cases, you can get a translation of high quality and reasonable prices.
Some translation customers decide to work directly with freelancers. This is obviously less expensive, and can be a good idea for simple jobs in one or two languages. But when projects get bigger, new languages are added, and the file formats are not direct, translation agencies will need it to help perform all the extra work. Working with different freelancers means that there will be no consistency between projects. Translation bureaus, as a rule, support reference materials like translation memory technologies, terminology bases and style guides to use them with time.
To be competitive, agencies are looking for ways to lower their costs and offer cheaper rates to customers. Some ideas are sound, others are unscrupulous or even illegal. Let’s look at some:
What is included? While most agencies know that it is dangerous to offer a translation without any editing, proofreading or quality control, they could still do this to make their rates as low as possible. When comparing rates between agencies, make sure that you learned what they include in the level for the word. Is it just for translation? Translation with editing? With the proof? What high-speed steps have been taken? They charge for the development of localization, file handing, terminology bases, style sheets, etc. separately?
Geographical enhancement. It’s not a secret that the living wage and start-up business is lower in some countries. Translation companies do this as well. While translators themselves usually live and work in their home countries, translation agencies offer localization and project management, which can be done in a different, cheaper place. They may have offices in Thailand, India and Colombia. If you want to know where your work will actually be done, ask your salesperson.
Native speakers. A native speaker of, say, Norwegian usually lives in Norway, where the subsistence minimums are high. This makes it one of the more expensive languages to translate. But what if you look for people who speak Norwegian in another country? Perhaps with a low cost of living, like India? Bingo – they will definitely agree to charge lower fees than their friends in the snowy Norway! But is their native language Norwegian? And if they are native speakers who, it turns out, live abroad, their language skills on a par with their compatriots in Norway? This can be if they have made an effort to maintain a relationship with their native cultures and language.
Reputation. What if the translation agency insists that they are using services that are only spoken in their native language and highly qualified professionals, but do you still have doubts? It is worth choosing a company with which you can talk and see how they work. There are sites that provide a rating of translators and companies. If companies are not on the list or do not have almost any points – they probably do not work with professional translators or just recently opened. If the glasses are low, it means that they do not treat their translators well. Some websites store comments from employees of the company and former employees, as well as customers, which will allow you to trace the reputation of the selected translation agency.
Some companies present attractive translators’ summaries with which they work and offer their work at an extremely low cost. How is this possible? These are not the same people doing the work! Summaries can be real, but the translation is made by their less qualified colleagues. Such a scam is as follows:
The translation company is submitting an advertisement to get the best summaries from the linguists. At the same time placing an ad to get the cheapest interpreter translators. After that, potential customers see amazing resumes of good linguists. And the company makes the transfer, using the services of cheap amateur translators. If the customer complains about the quality, it is used to refuse to pay to amateur translators.