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If you are considering using a translator to handle your project, it is driven by the desire to obtain a quality professional translation (and because you are not in a position to do so). That is a wise choice. To each his own profession.

Yes, but how can you ensure that your translator’s skills are up to date? And once delivered, the quality of its translation? It can be a legal act, a contract, a technical document… for which the slightest misinterpretation or transcription would be disastrous. A meticulous translation from the source text to the target text, requiring as much nuance as technicality in the language: that’s what you need!

Translation: a demanding exercise….

Translation is a demanding job that requires real expertise. This is particularly the case for specific translations in the technical (medical, scientific), financial and legal fields. Because it is a whole precise and sometimes precise vocabulary, which must be mastered in two languages and two cultures. Let us take the example of legal translations: the texts must comply with the law of the countries concerned, i.e. “equivalent” and not simply “transcribed”.

Beforehand, it is up to you to define the outlines of your request, providing the translator with everything that will enable him/her to familiarize him/herself with the document, its stakes, its contextualization, its target. Ask yourself the right questions, like this big detail: your client speaks English but is he Australian, Scottish, American, New Zealander?

… which requires certain qualities

This type of text requires a certain level of skill. Before entrusting your translation project, it is therefore advantageous to know the main quality criteria of a good translator. As for a craftsman, a teacher, or even a surgeon, the translator has tools, which he must learn to handle with dexterity. They are a guarantee of the quality of the work provided.
A brief overview:

  • he translates into his mother tongue and masters languages: in addition to speaking fluently, he is familiar with the subtleties and specificities of language, nuances, idioms…
  • they may be specialised or even expert (we speak of expert translators) in the field of activity they translate. This applies, for example, to legal or financial translations involving the use of a specific technical lexicon. Some professional translators, known as “sworn” translators, can thus certify their translations in the field of law.
  • he has a rigorous, meticulous, curious pen… who knows how to adapt to the editorial style required by the document.

Choosing the right translator: the advantage of a translation agency

These stated qualities are the prerogative of professional translators. There are as many translators as there are translations possible. Their training is therefore specific. For example, technical translators often have a dual curriculum that allows them to be operational in a field of activity (economic, scientific, medical, etc.) and in the translation sector. The forensic translator is certified by a court of appeal.

Contacting a translation agency means being sure to find the right translator, one who combines language skills and expertise in a field of activity. Translation is a very demanding job!

The delivered text, how to check the quality of the translation?

You are reassured about how to ensure a good translation, but you would like more: to be sure that your translation is in conformity with the original text. It’s understandable, your project is of the utmost importance.

nce the translation has been done by an expert translator, you may want to check the quality of the text. This third party review work is an essential control
procedure. The professional translation agency offers, in addition to a team of carefully selected translators, proofreading by proofreaders, this is the stage of translation quality control. An essential quality assurance process. Before you start, check the quality approach of your service provider.

You could, of course, turn to online translation tools such as the famous Google Translate (there are even automatic proofreaders for professionals) but spelling and grammar are not the only elements of a text to check. If they form its necessary envelope, it is also necessary to control its substance: expressions, technical terms, nomenclature, etc. In a word, the subtleties between the source text and the target text.

If this is not your first text translation, you could also use translation memory software (or ask your translators or clients if they use it). With this linguistic database, you can save your translation for the reuse of previously translated content, such as recurring expressions. SDL Trados Studio is a computer-aided translation (CAT) tool that offers this service. Note that serious translation agencies and freelance translators frequently use this type of tool to ensure continuity in their work and increase productivity.

Standards as a guarantee of quality

These recommendations can help you to ensure the quality of your translations. To go further, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) produce standards that provide significant certification, providing the basis for translation work and ensuring its quality. EN-15038, created specifically for translation service providers by CEN, is the most important European certification issued in the translation sector. It defines the quality criteria to be met in order to obtain and evaluate high quality translation services! Whether it is the requirements in terms of required skills, translation processes, final verification, confidentiality, etc.

Professional translators are specialized in a field of activity in addition to mastering languages and always translating into their mother tongue. They therefore meet demanding criteria that it is important to ensure before entrusting your text. Professional translation agencies offer a complete translation and revision service. A strict but necessary process to deliver high quality translations.

To go further: