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A professional translator and how to recognize one

2 min

In the previous blog post we talked about why translation agencies exist and what kind of added value they bring to the table. One of the important arguments, which was also discussed, is the high level of professionalism and the emphasis on choosing quality translators with proven track record.

Freelancers or agencies?

There are customers, both from corporate and private sectors, who prefer to work with freelancers, i. e. specific translators they have direct contact with. There are several logical considerations behind this preference:

  1. Working with a translation agency will cost more money as there will be an extra element in the supply chain…

This does not have to be true – at Explika, we build long-term partnerships with “our” translators, and we are usually the source of a regular flow of interesting orders from various fields that they wouldn’t come across. As a result, we are able to achieve better rates than end clients would have, and we can then reflect this reduced price in our own pricing towards our customers. If you need an analogy, think of any wholesale business.

Sure, there are agencies that bring no added value whatsoever and live solely on the margins they charge above the translator's rate. We would strongly suggest avoiding them.

  1. When working with a translation agency, I have no control over exactly who will translate my text.

Decent language service companies, including Explika, work in accordance with international standards, especially:

  • ISO 9001 (quality management)
  • ISO 17100 (translation services)
  • ISO 18587 (post-editing machine translation)

These standards govern not only the processes we follow in our daily work, but also the selection of properly qualified and vetted suppliers. And what exactly does that mean?

So what does a professional translator look like?

First of all, it is someone with a corresponding university degree (either directly in translation or in other philological fields) and sufficient hands-on experience. At the same time, we make sure that he or she has an understanding of the field to which the translatable text belongs – that way, you won’t have a medical report translated by a person who doesn't know the difference between analgesics and antibiotics, or a technologically challenged, to use a politically correct term, working on the instructions for a hydraulic press.

Trusted agencies will therefore give you the confidence that your texts will end up in good hands. If you don't know a particular professional translator personally, you always run the risk of choosing the wrong one. A risk that can be completely eliminated when working with an agency such as Explika.

If you want to see for yourself, just send us an enquiry or check how much your translation project would cost you – with no strings attached.

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