An Insight Into the Translation Business
If you have overgrowing needs for Professional Translation Services or Search Engine Optimized Website Localization Services, this ARTICLE is for YOU!
In our present globalized world, we are not only living in the era of advanced technology, but we are suffering from its impact and influence so drastically as well. Every part of our daily life is closely related to technology one way or the other. And strangely enough, we are getting more and more intrigued and enslaved by its advancements that we cannot dispense with any, and cannot even imagine how we were ever able to live without those infinite forms of technology before. With mobile phones we are always in contact with our family and friends, with social networking we can socialize again with our long-missed classmates and university colleagues, with the internet we are able to get the required information and knowledge in no time, with computers and communication technologies we easily collaborate with our local and remote foreign business partners to carry out our daily business tasks and routine. Not only this, but we can even communicate with one another in ways that are very much similar to face-to-face, telephonic, and written modes.
If this is the impact of technology on our daily life, we cannot but say that it has a rather tremendous impact on translation and the translation industry causing radical changes mainly in translation tools, translation studies, trainings and work procedures. Using the internet to search for terminology and references has become more accurate and relevant. With the help of computer-aided translation (CAT tools), translators manage to save time and meet tight deadlines. They are also able to observe consistency, coherency and terminology management throughout each and every project, especially in the case of large ones. With the use of built-in QA checks, they are now capable of submitting error-free files as much as humanly possible. Although Machine Translation (MT) posed a slight threat to translators for being a free and handy tool to many clients, it was found that, after all, for their more technical and complex files, clients cannot dispense with human translation nor its valuable and recognized contributions in all their translation needs and localization requirements.
Coming to this point, it is now timely to highlight the role of translation agencies and how they were greatly influenced by the impact of modern technologies. By leveraging these modern technological inventions, translation agencies do not conduct their work from their premises only, but via their websites as well. Actually, the attention focused on their websites is double that directed to their work premises. For their websites, they mobilize the best web and graphic designers, social media, SEO and digital marketing specialists. Their websites represent their global image and brand. Once they are content that their website portrays the very desired image and brand, they set to conduct their business tasks with more ease and comfort using the relevant technologies. Through the use of the latest technological inventions, translation agencies are no more confined to deal with in-house translators, but rather stretch to the whole world to grab a wealth of translation professionals with native tongue in every spoken language. With a short heads-up email, all their worldwide team of translators line up in their remote destinations ready for the expected project that is shortly coming. Using a server-based, cloud-based collaboration or an online tool with project and vendor management capabilities, translation agencies engage in following-up the progress of their projects. If you are dealing with a sophisticated agency, translators in such case might expect a project package with all reference materials, Translation Memories, glossary and even versions of old translation, together with your most valued instructions (being the real boss whose satisfaction is ultimately sought) coming handy with the package. If the project is a book, brochure, handout, banner, leaflet or a flyer that requires desktop publishing services, the agency’s project manager passes it on to the in-house desktop publisher to take care of all the necessary details.
Are the services of translation agencies confined to these teeny weeny services? No indeed! As a client, you might need to localize your website, drive more traffic to your site, create attractive content marketing articles for your site or blog, launch digital marketing campaigns on social media and other high traffic online sites and magazines or you might as well launch it offline. Seeing the great influence of videos on any marketing campaign, you or the translation agency itself might point out the importance of tackling this point too to guarantee total success. Consequently, the agency will instantly call its savvy professional animator to work, along with its graphic designer, marketing and SEO specialists, if necessary. When the video is ready, voice-over artists are contacted to handle the narratives in as many languages as you would wish for. So, in fact, translation agencies are no more restricted to translation and localization services, but they have become the one-stop shop that you visit to get from all your business needs; be it translation, localization, website localization, copywriting, content marketing, blogging, SEO, digital or social marketing, designing, voice-over, desktop publishing or typesetting etc.
Although all the above details sound fantastic, one drawback is that a translation agency has to keep the cost of all these services within strict budget limits. And if, at any time, matters cease to run properly for them, they might tamper with their own resources. Thus a medium expertise will do, so no need for the crème de la crème caliber. And it is really no secret to know that, besides the salaries of in-house specialized staff and remote freelance translators, they also bear heavy operating, administration, business and general expenses on monthly basis. This implies that you actually pay for all these expenses along with the cost of your service.
If this was the case with translation agencies, what would the case of professional translators be like!
Well, actually the case applies exactly to experienced and professional translators. Having acquired the required qualifications & experience and built a good reputation through tackling with a reasonable number of renowned and global direct clients, professional or certified translators would likewise desire to start their own business career. However, in such case, having ascended the ladder step by step from beginning to top, they are not only experts in their own profession, but have vast expertise in the industry as a whole and in their fields of specialty in particular. They are fully knowledgeable of all aspects of the industry’s know-how and master all its tools. They are proficient in translation & localization, experts in working with CAT tools, Translation Memories and terminology management, competent in finding their authoritative references and doing the required terminology research, besides knowing precisely the top talents in every domain. And above all, they have great passion for their work and are only satisfied with the best. Their websites are their virtual business. By creating their professional online brand, said professional translators start their business career, and with the help of their previous direct clients and visitors of their newly created websites, they start earning their new living. Some start by offering their language combination only, while others begin by offering reasonable language combinations, being those of their acquaintance, whom they got to know from their long freelancing life. By these multiple new exposures, translators acquire broad knowledge about websites, web & graphic design, SEO, digital & social media marketing, desktop publishing & typesetting and much more. However, believing in specialization and always craving for the best, they resort to their big contact list of expert colleagues who specialize in these translation-related domains, if they are not themselves well-proficient in them. Therefore, you finally end by hiring experts, who expertly master their tools, and when need arises for other closely related services; they know precisely the perfect one and only person for the job, if they are not personally able to help you out. Adding to all the above advantages is the fact that running a virtual online business saves them a lot of expenses that all translation agencies are bound to pay. So here you actually gain the added value of paying only for the professional services that you request.
To sum up, after closely reviewing both cases, we finally end by having two examples; the first of these is that of specialized staff in various translation-related domains, together with a database of local and foreign online beginner to medium experienced translators working with highly-expensive prestigious translation agencies which are in many cases unaffordable to small and medium businesses, and the second is that of professional translators running virtual online businesses which offer the same range of services by expert professionals and their similar group of intimate professional acquaintance with affordable rates that are almost half the rate you ought to pay to a translation agency.
Now that we have shared with you all these confidences, which of these two options would you finally choose!