Can you maintain consistency when using freelance translators?
At Integro, we are often asked how we maintain consistently high quality translations in spite of not using in-house linguists. Many people fear that working with freelancers means that their different translation projects will never be handled by the same people, putting the quality of your translations at risk. However, we actually see working with freelancers as an opportunity to be selective and cherry-pick the best translators for the job, rather than just giving it to the in-house linguists we employ, helping you to receive the best possible result. Any possible downsides are avoided in a number of possible ways. Aside from using some of the best linguists, Integro has also employed these techniques to achieve the utmost consistency over the past 10 years:
We get to know you
Before we begin a translation, we learn as much as possible as we can about your business as a brand, your products, your ethos and your tone of voice. Translation is about so much more than vocabulary, and understanding all of this information can help to get it spot on, even if we are using a different translator. We will go through a thorough knowledge transfer process, during which you would give us any information about style guidelines or key term nuances, as well as sampling any past translations (harnessing the translation memories and termbases), if applicable.
We can research your competitors
Depending on the nature of your brand, this step may not be necessary. However, if you choose, we can research your international competitors, learning their online performance, keyword ranking and the terminology they use. Understanding your competitors helps you (and us) to understand what terminology you should use (or avoid) in the foreign market. Depending on the detail you want, we could also run a report on the products they offer, their market position and their prices, which may influence your own strategies. This helps with consistency, as you are working to overcome your competition.
We build a purpose-specific team
There will never be one singular person dealing with your translation. Instead, we build a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable people to achieve the best translation possible. We don’t simply allocate a project to whichever linguist is first available- that’s the biggest problem with cloud sourcing, but let’s not go there right now. The average team comprises of three people, who share the same knowledge bases, resources and information to work together to translate, proofread and edit your materials. This multi-linguist team, who are all working from the same standards guidelines, means that the translation undergoes different levels of scrutiny, keeping it as accurate as possible and practically removing the risk of error. This multi-linguist team also means that your project doesn’t suffer if one linguist is ill or away, needing either temporary or permanent replacement, as the other linguists involved are completely aware of and able to complete the project in hand, and move seamlessly to the client’s next request.
We treat our linguists well
Unlike other agencies, who treat translators like cogs in their machine, we treat our linguists as the valuable individuals they are. We work hard to keep our linguists happy and, in turn, they work hard to give us and our clients the results they deserve. As a result of this, many of our freelance linguists have worked happily with us for many years. This means that, quite often, it will be the same linguists that deal with your projects over the months, or years, which we believe to be a major contributor to our high quality results.
We listen to feedback
We want to keep our clients happy, which means we are willing to accept any constructive criticism or feedback. Possibly above all other forms of translation, marketing translations are subjective and often don’t simply have a right/wrong answer. Because of this, it is possible that you would have preferred the linguists to have chosen a different synonym for a particular word, and we are happy for you to make us aware. You will only need to tell us once, because we will ensure that it is recorded and that your preferred terms are used in the future. We recommend that we have monthly reviews of your projects (though you can decide the frequency) with your accounts manager, and we will log any feedback you give us, adjusting translation memories and termbases accordingly.
As you can see, Integro does their utmost to ensure that our freelance linguists can provide us, and therefore you, with the highest quality results. Our attention to detail, and dedication to completely understand our clients before translation begins, means that consistency is not a problem, as we try to cover all bases to prevent inconsistencies. Taking the right steps before we start a translation means the best end result.