What is the Value of a Language Service Company?
Several years ago, we founded LocalizationLab – a language service company. We went to lots of networking events, trade fairs and meetings to publicise what we did. Sometimes people asked us, “What does your company bring to the world? Aren’t you just a middleman between companies and translators? You do not need a company for that. We could contact translators and editors directly.”
That is why we would like to explain what a language service company brings to the world. Why should companies with international presence, or that want to expand further afield into new markets, use a language service company for multilingual projects?
1. Selecting and recruiting translators:
There are many translators in the world, from lots of different cultures, with a whole host of language combinations and specialisms. Knowing how to choose the right person for a particular project is incredibly important.
- We require our language professionals to do translation tests and then we check them.
- We sign confidentiality agreements with all of them.
- We always use the same translators for the same customers to ensure consistency and first-rate results.
We are able to offer our customers an excellent service by adhering to strict professional criteria and maintaining a database of translators, editors and linguistic specialists.
The translators we work with are a vital part of our company, which is why we make sure we have a good relationship with them. Click on the link to see what they say about us.
2. Experts for reviewing translations:
One of the most important parts of a translation is the translation review process. This must be done by a second person, who is also a translation specialist.
Selecting these experts for every linguistic combination and specialism, maintaining a good relationship with all of them and making sure that the same translator-reviewer team always works together for a particular customer is essential to ensure first-rate work.
In this article, you can explore in greater detail the importance of reviewing texts as an integral part of the translation process.
We have got many ways to help us improve standards, reduce costs and ensure consistency in the texts we translate. Language service companies keep abreast of the existing technology, and they know exactly how to use it to help their customers.
There is a great variety of technology that can be used, but we’re going to focus on just two types:
a. Automatic translation using artificial intelligence:
Language service companies are able to use this technology properly. They know what kinds of documents, what language combinations and what specialisms it can be used for. Using this technology properly can reduce cost and time, without affecting the quality of the final document.
Here you can read an article about automatic translation and here a case study on the use of automatic translation in legal texts.
b. Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools:
CAT Tools are used to create translation memories as texts are translated for a particular customer. Language service companies store translation memories for individual customers, based on specialism and language combination. This means that as content is translated, it can be reused. This has a direct effect on the time it takes and the cost of a translation, which can be lowered considerably. At the same time, it produces consistency in style and leads to a better final outcome.
Creating glossaries is also important for individual customers, to make sure the right terminology is used for a particular company.
4. Project management:
Project management is a fundamental part of multilingual communication projects (or multilingual projects), whether it be a blog in ten languages, an app in fifteen or a web in seven. Managing resources, selecting and forming a work group, monitoring the schedule and overseeing the budget to ensure a high-quality outcome is incredibly important to make sure everything runs smoothly. The role of the project manager (or managers) includes the following stages:
The project starts here. We make an analysis to see what tasks need to be completed.
- What specialism does the text have? It might be an article for a marketing blog, but be specialised in pharmaceutical issues, for example.
- What does the customer need in addition to the translation? Is there desktop publishing (DTP) involved?
- How big is the project and what format is it in? Is the project content in a website, Word document, or .json or .xliff files?
- Is a filter needed to extract the text to be translated without changing the original code?
- What needs to be done before starting to translate? Does the source document need to be checked?
- Has a similar translation been done before? Is there any reference material that should be used, such as already translated documents, style guides or glossaries?
Once the quote has been accepted and the project gets underway, we’ve got to plan time, resources, costs and quality control. Project planning includes communicating with the customer and with the professionals responsible for doing the project. Part of the project planning was already carried out right at the beginning, which means we can get to work right away.
While the project is being carried out, we have to coordinate all the parts involved (translators, reviewers and designers), and make sure all the tasks are completed by the stipulated date and within the agreed budget. Other key aspects are managing questions by the translators to the customer to clear up any ambiguities and overseeing changes to improve the final result.
It is also important to monitor data, budget, resources and tasks while the project is in duration. That said, there are almost always changes and unexpected turns during the course of a project, and the project manager needs to be flexible and adapt as the project develops.
Lastly is the project’s closing. This is when the project has been completed and sent to the customer, who confirms that everything is as it should be. Once we know the customer is satisfied with the end result, we can bring the project to a close with our partners, pay their invoices and store the project on file.
5. Final design and delivery of the project:
As we mentioned earlier, in the section on project management, translation projects can come in varying formats. They often have images that cannot be edited, codes that cannot be changed and layouts that must be applied to the final document so that it looks identical to the original. This is known as DeskTop Publishing (DTP). It is a crucial part of the project that makes a translated text look identical to, and have the same format as, the original.
All the above means that working with an experienced language service company will enable you to reach your customers the whole world over. When a customer turns to a language service company, they are not only paying for a translation, but also a comprehensive service that goes hand in hand with a multi-language communication project.
At the same time, it also means a full range of language services is concentrated in just one provider: translating, reviewing, transcribing videos, subtitling and interpreting.
At LocalizationLab, we have got fifteen years of experience in managing multi-language projects, and we would be delighted to help. Why not send us an email to email@example.com, and we will take it from there?