There are two approaches to offering translation services: the “commodity” approach and the “service” approach.
Those who believe a translation as a commodity think all the translation are same, just like raw materials and low-added value products, easily subtitled and only difference is price. If you are cheaper than the next supplier, you will get the project.
On the other hand, those who understand that translation is a service will bear in mind factors over and above price. They will also take into account quality, speed and flexibility, and they will expect something more than just a low price.
At QuickSilver Translate, we believe that “service”, in the context of translation for business, means
• Delivering on time – nothing is more annoying than failing to receive a document, however small, in time for a meeting, presentation or any other deadline.
• Having a linguistic expert available for quick consultation – being able to call/e-mail your supplier to make sure a particular term has not been misspelt is possibly the most confidence-inspiring bit of added value in the translation industry
• Reacting quickly to all linguistic needs – business today is often a question of speed: “I don´t want this next week, I needed it yesterday!”
• Being able to obtain related services – can I get it in Powerpoint? what about QuarkXpress?
A good translation conveys the meaning of the original accurately and fluently in the target language. Keep in mind that often there is often no “exact match” for concepts from one language to another.
Despite what many people think, a literal, word-for-word translation does not guarantee accuracy. Rather than cram the original concepts into the target language, quality translations adapt the core message to the target audience. A free translation is not necessarily less accurate than a literal one.
It is also inadvisable to assume that a “certified” translator is going to be better than one who is not. As a general rule, it is much safer to assess a translator’s proficiency by his or her real performance rather than by a vague claim of certification or a test taken sometime in the past.
The ultimate judges of quality are your readers, who should be able to read the translated text as effortlessly as those who read the original. Attaining that result is the ultimate benchmark of a successful translation process.