How to determine if a Translation Agency’s Quality is Good for you

August 17, 2008 by  
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iso_9001_logo_small Giving your source documents to a new translation firm can be very scary…as you probably can’t check the work yourself.  So how do you know if an agency does high quality translation work, when almost all translation companies and their marketing literature including websites and brochures will espouse "high quality translations?" 

Some companies have gone through extensive paperwork, cost and pain to be able to say that they have implemented either standard ISO 9001:2000 or EN 15038. All this says is that the company has a process, it has been documented and is used repeatedly at least in front of an auditor.  Only about 10% of language service providers are ISO Certified. 

Iterotext was a part of the first Engineering Standard for Translation here in Detroit called the J2450 process.  Certainly this is another attempt at trying to quality and quantify quality.

In reality, a certification or standard is not necessarily the be-all, end-all when it comes to quality.  Quality is relative. As such, lists of high-quality companies are relative too, especially when the only criterion is whether or not a given standard is being followed.

I believe there a few factors that determine quality:

1.  Experience

2. Subject Matter Expertise

3.  Native Fluency

4.  Proof reading

5.  Editing

Utilizing current technology and a consistent process will help your translation be of higher quality.  Ultimately, translations are performed by humans and there is always an element of trust that your words are not merely translated word for word but that they are translated, localized, internationalized, and globalized all so that your messages are understood.

7 Foreign Language Translation Trends

June 9, 2008 by  
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flags Globalization is on the rise, the dollar is weakening and the demand for translation is up.  The translation industry isn’t feeling the economic crunch like many other industries including manufacturing. 

The seven languages that are poised for substantial growth based on the Common Sense Advisory’s report from over 300 Language Service Providers (LSP) are:

1.  English - this may come as a surprise but there are many companies who need their documents translated into English from another language

2.  French

3.  Italian

4.  German

5.  Spanish

6.  Japanese

7.  Chinese - Mandarin in particular

I also see Eastern Europe/Russia and Portuguese from Brazil are on the rise.

Do any of these languages surprise you?

Crowdsourcing Translation

May 21, 2008 by  
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crowdsourcing I was just sent an interesting article (from March 31st) about how Facebook is going to use crowdsourcing to translate their site into Chinese.  China has a huge population that could use Facebook but historically many western companies have been very challenged in entering this market.  This very web 2.0 approach could be the best way to give China some ownership of the application and spread the word.  The dangers - bad translations and no quality control. 

What do you think about giving control of your brand in another country to its population?