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Does test translation mean investing in your prospects?

November 22, 2011 2 Comments »

Have you ever asked a to provide you with a client reference or a test translation before you use their ? I am very sure you have, as in today´s there are millions of translation agencies offering you their services. How does one differentiate one agency from the other? is the most common driver; however, are you comparing apples to apples when comparing per word rates? Is the highest per word rate matching the best translation quality and the lowest per word cost the worst one? Obviously the scope of the translation project will play the most important role: do you need a small letter from your grandfather who lives overseas translated, or are you in need of a translation for a into Simplified as your company is trying to enter the Chinese ?

It is always important to know exactly what translation process a translation agency is going through in order to provide you with a translation of your requested document. Many companies offer only translation and , and prospects believe that the translation quality will turn out great. There are many instances in which that is not the case. It is very important to have a second translator compare the translated text with the original text to see if any mistranslation took place, before the proofreading step can be executed.

How can you be sure that  you will receive a high quality translated document? Request a test or sample translation before you decide to use a certain .

I have a client who needs his company´s entire website translated and his selection process is quote tough. Which agency can he trust knowing that all the requested highly technical medical articles will be translated correctly?  Besides the detailed quote that we sent him, we offered him a sample translation of two different articles with over 6,000 words to translate – for free. Six thousand words sounds like a reasonable investment for a future potential 3,000,000 words scope. Why? It´s part of the confidence-building process between the prospect and us. Once he receives our test translations, he will be able to compare the quality with the offered cost per word and turnaround time and service that had been provided to him during the entire quotation and selection process.

2 Responses to “Does test translation mean investing in your prospects?”

  • Commented on November 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I agree that providing samples is a good thing. I have used it myself very often, albeit on a smaller scale than what you describe in your blog. The only problem I have encountered with test translations, from a freelancer’s perspective, is when some clients (often agencies) abuse the process. I have been part of what I am now pretty sure was an attempt to get a document translated for free by requesting many different “samples” from a long list of freelancers.

    But I guess there is risk in everything. Providing test translations is still the best way to go.

  • Commented on November 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    It is always good to ask for a sample as you have said through post. Because this is the way through which you can only judge the translator with their expertise. And also can take action against their way of seeking rates per word of the translation.