September 30 was International Translation Day and this year’s theme was The Changing Face of Translation & Interpreting. Where once companies struggled to find the right translator from a narrow, local pool, the digital revolution has left almost too much choice; how can a buyer know which agencies are reputable, whether their translators have the necessary experience and subject knowledge, and if they can deliver what they promise?
The challenge now is not how to find a translator, but how to find the right translation partner.
- The right translation agency need not necessarily be local, but knowing you have a reliable contact that will always be there to answer any questions or address any concerns is critical.
- Technology in every industry moves quickly and translation is no exception; you want a partner that makes the best use of the latest technology and software, without relying on it so much that the final piece sounds mechanical, devoid of human tone or sensitivity.
- The right partner should ask the right questions, and that isn’t just price and turnaround. Who is the target audience? Where and how will the document(s) be distributed? What is the educational level of the average recipient? Is there a glossary or any previously translated material that should be used for reference? If you’re inviting feedback or responses, do you have staff who can handle foreign-language inquiries? Having your materials translated shows your non-English speaking clients, members, and employees that you care; having them translated well makes a lasting impression.