As an owner of a translation agency, I have to think about what our customers want.
Some 25 years ago, when our agency was first formed, I decided that Quality, Delivery and Price would be the watchwords.
Quality : almost all customers want good, accurate translations, so that was the prerequisite I sent for our translation agency. No one would want a translation which was not accurate.
However, there could be gradations as far as the finished product was concerned.
Translating a few words for an advertising slogan requires much more thought about the translation of each of those few words and a far longer time spent per word compared to the time spent per word in translating a technical report, where only very concrete terms and concepts are to be translated.
As long as an experienced translator of a technical report has the required technical knowledge and the technical vocabulary in both of the languages concerned, he or she can produce a competent translation which will accurately convey the entire meaning of the original source text and that translation can be provided in a relatively short time.
Of course, all translations, technical or otherwise, have to be proof-read by another translator to ensure accuracy and improve style.
Delivery : Customer’s requirements vary enormously. Sometimes a translation is required as part of a carefully organized schedule. Sometimes the translation is required very urgently, for example, to allow the company concerned to bid on a large tender.
While we do have in-house translators, we also need freelance translators so as to be able to cope with unexpected demands. Those translators are tested and are given small translations at first and then increasingly large ones as we become more confident of their competence.
The more experienced of our translators now dictate into a digital recorder, send the translation by email to a typist who sends it back by email after typing it. The translation is then proof-read by the original translator and afterwards by another proof-reader before being sent to the customer. It is possible, using this method, for a translator to produce over 10,000 words in a day’s work and this is very useful when unscheduled large translations are urgently required.
What all our customers do insist on is that we keep to the deadlines they set.
Tektran makes extraordinary efforts to ensure that deadlines are kept and we have built up a fine reputation for our on-time deliveries.
Price : Of course, our customers want to receive an accurate translation at a reasonable price. We have made considerable efforts to keep our prices down to a level which is equal or lower than the competition and we have also found that the use of translation memory programs such as Trados or SDLX can provide lower prices for our customers.
These translation memory programs (Trados and SDLX) have nothing to do with the instant translation programs that you can find on the Internet. Those instant programs are not context sensitive so they can provide very strange translations. You only have to translate something from your native language into another language and then translate the result back into your native language to see what sort of a mess the instant translation programs produce.
The Trados and SDLX programs memorize sentences of the original text and their translations so that when those sentences occur again in the same text or in another translation, the computer can translate them automatically. The original translation was produced by a human translator and was corrected by him or her, so you can be sure that the translation supplied by the memory program is accurate.
Charges can be significantly reduced for translations where memory programs are used.
So that summarizes Technical Translations approach : Quality, Delivery, Price. We are very proud of this slogan and you may be sure that if you become one of our customers, you will benefit from all three aspects.