The ultimate buyers' Guide to translation

Is your business thinking about translation?

Don’t do anything until you’ve read this ebook.

This 107-page guide will tell you everything you need to know about the translation process, how to choose a translation vendor and order translation services, and why it’s so important to get translation and localisation right.

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Why you need to read this ebook before buying translation services

The world of translation services is vast, complex and busy – and although many providers are reputable professionals, it’s still easy for an unsuspecting business to be taken for a ride. Some translation providers will promise the world on a shoestring but fail to deliver the quality you need. Others may overcharge for what turns out to be a fairly mediocre service.

Spotting the good guys requires a practised eye – which is exactly what The Ultimate Buyers’ Guide to Translation helps you develop. As well as learning to tell the fly-by-night cowboys from the reliable pros, you’ll gain an understanding of the translation process, your place in it, and why it’s so important to get translation and localisation right.

This “how to order translation services right” guide covers:

  • The differences between individual translators and translation agencies
  • An introduction to key concepts and terms
  • How to identify trustworthy, professional language service providers
  • Bolt-on language services like QA, project management and website and software localisation
  • The odds of the human race becoming enslaved by evil, self-aware machine translation systems
  • And more hot topics in the translation industry

Clearly written, engaging in tone and accessible to all, this essential guide produced by the experts at Translators Family will make you ready for the translation process and leave you eager to embark on your own localisation adventure.

What's inside

See the full list of chapters

  • About this book
    • About this book 4
  • Introduction
    • Types of translation and localisation services 9
  • Part 1 – Translation: The basics
    • Why is the translation industry booming and what does this mean for your business? 14
    • The translation process: Art or science? 17
    • Why machine translation just doesn’t cut it 19
    • Profiling the perfect translator 21
  • Part 2 – Choosing a vendor
    • Why it makes sense to outsource translation 25
    • Boutique agencies – the new generation of translation solutions 28
    • How to choose the right translation vendor for you 31
    • Why long-term partnerships make all the difference 35
  • Part 3 – Preparing for translation
    • What can businesses do to ensure a translation goes smoothly? 38
    • How to choose a linguistic style for your business 40
    • Is there anything that shouldn’t be translated? 43
    • The checklist: Ten things to consider when preparing a text for translation 46
  • Part 4 – The translation process
    • Tracing the life cycle of a translated document 50
    • The power of good translation project management 52
    • Splitting a project between translators? Here’s what to think about. 55
    • The importance of quality assurance in the translation process 58
  • Part 5 – Specialist translation
    • When do you really need a specialist translator? 62
    • Technical and marketing translation: Unstoppable force meets immovable object? 65
    • Sworn translation: What is it and when do you need it? 68
    • The specialist skills needed for IT translation 70
  • Part 6 – Translation tools
    • How CAT tools can help deliver the best quality translations 73
    • Why should you invest in term base creation, glossaries or style guides? 76
  • Part 7 – Myths and misconceptions
    • The most common misconceptions about the translation industry 80
    • The biggest mistakes businesses make when getting texts translated 83
    • Summary and selective translations: Are they worth your attention? 86
  • Part 8 – The past, present and future of the translation industry
    • Connection, communication and culture: A history of translation 89
    • The continuing importance of translation in a globalised world 93
    • How has modern technology changed the translation industry? 96
    • Where will the translation industry be in five years’ time? 99
    • Will machine translation ever fully replace human translators? 102
    • Will we ever all speak the same language? 104

About the authors

Authors/editors: Oleg Semerikov, Simon Hodkinson

Proofreader: Sheila Wilson

Published by: Translators Family

  • Oleg Semerikov

    Oleg had a passion for languages and entrepreneurship since he was just nine. That’s why he chose to be a translator and in 2006 successfully started his career as a freelance English-Russian translator. Soon afterwards, he founded a team of translators, which today is a rapidly developing translation agency, Translators Family, based in Poland. Oleg is fond of discovering new trends in the translation industry and applying them to his business. He keeps a blog on his company website as well as publishing his articles across a variety of magazines and web resources for translators.

  • Simon Hodkinson

    Simon is a British-based translator who works primarily from German into English. After completing a degree in German Studies at the University of Warwick and spending a year living and working in Germany, in 2011 he set up as a freelance translator, editor and copywriter specialising in marketing and information technology. His experience of life ‘in the trenches’ as a freelancer helped provide practical examples and insights into the real world of translation.

  • Sheila Wilson

    Sheila is the second native speaker of British English who worked on this book. Her considerable 20+ years’ expertise in translation (French to English) and editing, as well as EFL teaching, allowed her to polish the text of this book and leave it absolutely flawless.

Translators Family is a boutique translation agency specialising in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish, with expertise in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and other European languages. Our mission is to deliver a wide range of top-quality translation and localisation services at affordable prices.

Aside from translation, we offer a number of related services designed to maximise value and convenience for our clients. These include desktop publishing (DTP), website and software localisation, multilingual search engine optimisation (SEO), copywriting, transcreation, transcription, subtitling, and more.

We set great store by our quality assurance processes, which involve 2-step proofreading as standard and a 5-step extended QA process for very demanding projects.

Most importantly of all, we believe in only ever relying on professional-quality human translation. All of our linguists are carefully vetted and tested before they work with us, and we never use machine translation systems. We believe that quality and professional standards are worth defending, and we work tirelessly to champion the right kind of translation.