In Part II (Ingredients for a Quality Translation: Translator Work Skills), we looked how a translator applies their linguistic skills in a real work situation. In Part III, we will see how does the in-house environment help to create a perfect translation.
In the translation industry, there are two kinds of translators: freelance and in-house. Many freelance translators do a fantastic job of supplying high quality translations, but the benefits of in-house translation is also undeniable not only for the client, but also for the translator.
A unique characteristic of EVS Translations is its use of in-house translator teams. Each of its seven offices across Europe and the US has an in-house translator team and individual translators receive six months of initial training which is overseen by a personal mentor. This includes training on:
- Style guides / Language specific style guides / customer specific style guides
- Trados (standard industry translation software)
- Translation of problematic Word Documents (Pictures, headers, footers, comments, track changes)
- Quality assessment and quality control
- Actual assisted translations
In an industry where the term “global team of translators” can sometimes be translated as “we’ll send your document off to anyone we can find”, our in-house structure and program of continuous support is rare, to say the least.
Having in-house translator teams is important for several reasons:
When a client needs a 20,000 word multilingual translation turning round in 4 days, we already have our teams in place. We don’t need to spend time assembling a team, and can very quickly assign a project to start work.
Schedules are arranged so that our translators work with the same client every time, which ensures consistency across projects. The translator is familiar with the client’s requirements in terms of client-specific style guides, terminology and, of course, the type of content to be translated. Lack of consistency seriously impacts quality.
We know our team and many of our translators have enjoyed a long career with us. We understand our translators’ different individual areas of strength, so we can quickly asses their suitability for certain types of project. In this deadline intensive industry, reliability is key.
Our translators have regular meetings with our in-house proofreaders to discuss any issues that arose during a translation project and feedback from the proofreader. This quality assurance process provides an opportunity for clear communication and a way to support the translator. This ensures high standards are maintained.
Access to resources
Our in-house translators have access to the latest industry software for translation and also IT staff who can help with any technical problems. With this software, they can access translation memories from previous projects to ensure consistency of terminology.
These are the ways in which the in-house translation system ensures a quality outcome, and it’s clear also that it’s an effective way to work for the translator. In the in-house system, translators are properly supported in every aspect of their work and have everything they need at their fingertips. It is this kind of working environment that supports the production of high quality translations.
I like the in-house structure. I did think about doing freelance translation once – I imagined being able to work from anywhere I like. But if anything goes wrong, I can get it fixed straight away here. I can discuss any issues with the proofreader and vice versa, and it’s much easier to ensure consistency on large jobs that require a team effort.
EVS UK, Rob
To sum up this series
For any type of product, there is always a higher end and lower end version, and this is no different for the translation industry. Consumers should certainly be offered choice in terms of product and pricing, but they must also be aware that, in the same way as the supermarket brand tomato sauce and famous brand sauce, you get what you pay for. Now you know your “supermarket brand translation” from your higher-end translation, so the next time you speak with a language services provider, you’ll be able to ask the right questions to find out the ingredients of your translation quote. You’ll understand whether you’re getting your 5% tomatoes with E numbers, or that 80% with the sprinkling of herbs and vinegar.