It’s a team effort. We use translators, reviewers (sometimes called a proof-readers), quality checkers, project managers, client account representatives, etc. Only with the right people, the right organization and the right management can a team perform on the day.
There’s a wide range of skills. Just like football has the Manchester Uniteds and the Ebbsfleet Uniteds, so the translation industry has the top flight and the lower leagues. In football, you get promoted or relegated but how can you tell a top translation agency? It’s not easy but look for independent quality assessments. ISO 9001 and UNI EN 15038 are good starting points.
There are many ways to score a goal. And there are many ways to translate a piece text. But everyone knows the cups are won on professionalism, talent, commitment and consistency.
You’ve got to keep your eyes on the ball. In translation that means watching quality and consistency but also remembering that it’s a game of two halves – translate and review – and that the deadline is critical.
It’s not over until the final whistle blows. When England won the World Cup way back in 1996 the commentator said, “Some of the crowd are on the pitch. They think it’s all over. But it is now.” In our business, when the translation has been delivered and the client has published it, there’s no way you can change the result. Only a professional agency can prevent any silly, embarrassing, potentially damaging translations being released.
Don’t forget the manager. The England manager, Fabio Capello, picks the team, sets the strategy, and manages the game. A good translation agency selects the right translators and reviewers, they figure out the best way to deliver the translation, and they manage the entire process – responding immediately to anything which might crop up.
It’s a funny old game. (ackn: Jimmy Greaves). Not everyone is a star striker and not every team is a Manchester United (although I support Tottenham…). So it is with translation. Quality costs. A David Beckham doesn’t play for tuppence. A David Brent of The Office probably will though. Who do you want to take that crucial free kick, just outside the box, when it’s 1-1 and there are 3 minutes left to play? Everyone knows England can’t do penalties so we’ve gotta score…
Professional footballers can kick a ball for any team they choose. They’re just like freelance translators (but with a little more money). Since very few translators work as employees in a company, the vast majority are freelance. That means, the freelance translators we use may have worked (or could be working) with your current translation agency too. What you don’t know is that our translator review and management process has been independently assessed and has been awarded the UNI EN 15038 quality standard. Whilst freelance translators may be able to work for anyone, Intrawelt only picks the best.
It’s a global game. Contact a sales office in London. The project is managed in Italy. The translator is in Japan, the reviewer is in the United States and the Quality Check is done in Australia. The document is prepared in Italy and delivered in England.
There’s a referee – well, kind of… We believe independent assessment companies like TUV who inspect companies for compliance to ISO 9001 and UNI EN 15038 are the referees in our industry. We worked hard to gain these quality certifications and we will work hard to keep them. Independent quality assessments help everyone: the client can find quality; the translation agencies deliver better services.