You should never put all your eggs in one basket. And neither should you close your eyes and just “scroll and blindly pick one” (let’s just pretend such a saying exists), when you Google
“investment company” in order to find a company to manage your money and investments.
On the contrary, you must always think carefully about minimising and spreading your risk,
taking a close look at security, the fool-proof arguments and well-founded pros and cons before you invest in anything.
We all agree this makes perfect sense most of the time. But as everyone knows, there are no rules without exceptions. Translations are an exception in this context. When you need
professional translations, it makes perfect sense to put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, you should choose a single translation agency. Ideally, the agency that offers the best, most effective and most secure service.
Perhaps you are thinking: “Letting one supplier take care of everything doesn’t sound too
secure to me.”
Well then, let us enlighten you and explain why it IS both the secure and the smart choice.
SAVE MORE AND MORE MONEY OVER TIME
Let’s look at one of the most important factors – money. Translation agencies (also known as Language Service Providers or LSPs for short), calculate the price for translations differently, but one of the most widely used models is the price-per-word model. The total price is calculated on the basis of the number of words in your source text. You will usually be presented with a scale (also known as a price matrix), with a basic per word price and some reduced rates calculated as a percentage of the basic per word price on a sliding scale. The full basic per word price is
applied when you have text translated at a translation agency that has never been translated
before. The reduced rates come into play when a translation task contains text that can be fully or partially matched with texts that you previously have had translated at the translation agency in question. In other words, when content that can be reused – either as a 100% match or as a partial match – and of course, you should not have to pay the full basic per word price for a such text.
This price model means that you can save more and more money over time by using the same translation agency for your translation tasks. When you use a single translation agency for all your translation projects, you quickly build up a database of translated content which can
potentially be reused.
A translation database is called a translation memory (or TM) and it is an important tool in your translation process. In effect, it is a database that contains all of your previous translations. When you have a new translation task, this text is always automatically compared with the
content of the TM and as much matching content as possible is reused with the new translation task. It also means that the TM helps to ensure consistency and minimises errors in your text.
It is also a good idea that you establish what your translation agency’s position is, in respect to the ownership of your TMs. Learn more about World Translation’s policy here.
DO YOU HAVE A STYLE?
DO YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN THAT STYLE?
Your texts and your style and tone of voice are part of your brand. It is very likely that it has helped shape the way in which some customers perceive your company. You almost certainly have a clear tone of voice in your native language.
But if you operate in different markets, your tone of voice must be reflected in the relevant
language. You have your own way of expressing yourself, just as your colleagues have their own ways of expressing themselves. It is important to remember that translators also have their own personal style. Of course, you can talk about a word being right or wrong when you use specific specialist terminology but when it comes to tone of voice in a text, it really comes down to
personal preference. This can be problematic if you send your texts to a lot of different
translation agencies, especially if your style and tone of voice is important to you.
When you use a single translation agency to carry out all your translation tasks, you are ensured that the same translator or small team of translators (all depending on what you agree with the translation agency), will translate your texts every time. One or more translators will become
experts in your texts, and you can be sure that the agreed style and tone of voice across the texts and tasks will be the same today and tomorrow. If uniformity is important to you, then stop shopping around.
GET A WHOLE TEAM BEHIND YOU
Now, you may be thinking that relying on a single translation agency sounds a little risky. In fact it is the opposite of that. A translation agency is your guarantee for a professional, thoroughly proven and secure setup.
A translation agency employs dedicated project managers, who are experts in carrying out your different types of translation tasks. They analyse your needs and any potential pitfalls, they have an overview of which competencies need to be brought into play, and they can identify precisely the translator with the necessary competencies for your specific task. The project managers are also supported by professional colleagues, all with their own expertise, who follow your project all the way to completion. They are:
- IT experts
- Vendor managers
- DTP specialists
A translation agency also provides you with reliability of delivery, because it has a large network of professional and passionate translators. You will never have to worry that your task can’t be handled. A translation agency has the capacity to constantly develop its network of freelance translators, if it doesn’t already have people in its pool of translators with expertise in your niche market. This is another great reason why you should use a single translation agency for all your translation tasks. If you constantly change between translation agencies, it can result in a
translation agency delivering an unsatisfactory result, simply because your expectations were not aligned and the competencies that were needed were not clarified from the very beginning. By contrast, when you choose a fixed partner, you develop a close working relationship and
mutual understanding, thus allowing the process to run smoothly.
“TEMP FEELING” VS TAILOR-MADE EXPERT CONSULTANCY SERVICES
When you need advice, when you need to sound out and explore ideas, when you need expert guidance – for example, with your finances, who do you prefer to go to in your bank? Maybe you prefer seeking out a newly qualified employee or a newly employed consultant, because you want a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at your finances. Or maybe you trust that the temporary employee providing maternity cover for your regular consultant, has been sufficiently briefed in the details to be able to deal with your challenges or wishes.
Or perhaps you prefer to carry on with your regular financial consultant, the one who has helped you for years and who knows your history with the bank. And if changing financial
consultants is an unavoidable necessity, then you almost certainly prefer using one who has been employed at the bank for a good while.
The same reasoning applies to your translations: If you want fresh perspectives on your projects, if you think it is fine to regularly build up a partnership from scratch and to start new business relationships, then swapping translation agencies will do that for you. On the other hand, if you are interested in obtaining competent advice, which is tailored to suit you and your needs, then finding a single regular partner is the smart choice. When you build up a relationship with a
single translation agency, you get a dedicated partner who will sound out and explore ideas. A partner who knows your processes, who can take a critical look at them and who can help you with process optimisation and fine adjustments. You must clearly establish what kind of
relationship you want to have with your translation agency and stick with it.