20 Scariest Things About Amateur Translation Services Companies
By: Rabia Tanveer
Translation Services are quickly becoming a necessity for the companies who want to keep moving forward. Such companies are paying close attention to the current market trends and using these services as seen best for their companies. And as many new and upcoming companies are trying to widen their horizons as well, but there is a catch. As these companies are still relatively new, their budgets are a little tight.
They feel that the only way they can afford translation services is by using amateur companies. Although this is a misconception, it is one that is not negated that often. What these companies don’t know is that most of the experienced and Quality Translation Services are very affordable. In fact, almost 85% of these companies have competitive rates. You get the best results from these companies because they know what they are doing and how it should be done.
Nevertheless, the amateur companies (or cheap companies, if I may) are still getting a lot of work. Most of the time, such companies are given projects on freelance portals like Upwork. Indeed, there are many good and quality young companies operating via Upwork platform, but it is a truth we have to acknowledge that most of the companies there are abusing the opportunity and giving out sub-par work to their clients.
Using a professional company like Mars Translation, CCJK and GENGO is that you get value for your money. If you don’t, this is the horror you will have to face.
Here are 20 scariest things about amateur translation services companies.
There is no point denying this. The majority of amateur translation services companies are inexperienced. Yes, they need to work to get experience, but there is no point in using these services for something as major as your international campaigns. You can use these services for small things, like your brochures and titles. Unless you want to commit a business suicide, only use a professional language translator for your main projects like product descriptions, emails and website translations.
Negative Brand Image!
As these translators and companies have no experience with international brand imaging (or branding for that matter), using their services for major projects can be very bad for your brand image. In fact, many a times, companies have regretted using such services because they created a very bad brand image that was very hard for them to shake off! Remember the 2008 Pepsi design blunder? Something like this can happen to you too!
Modern Tools – Extinct!
The use of modern translation tools and help aids is next to nothing. CAT tools like Translation Memory and Translation Glossary helps the language translator to bring the best quality translations in the shortest possible time. Unfortunately, these tools are expensive and it will be a big investment for such a company. Plus, these tools take a little time to get used to. A translator actually needs training before they can be used effectively.
If these companies do have access to these tools, they are cheap and unreliable. Most of the time, those tools are trial versions or pirated cracked versions that don’t get regular updates like the paid versions do. It all boils down to the quality of translation, which gets affected because such tools don’t support all the features a translator requires to work well.
Limited Language Support!
Here is a fact; these companies do not offer multiple language support. They support 1 maximum 5 languages and that is where their language support ends. They mostly translate the language to or from English, so that means you would have access to multiple language pairs as well. In short, this makes their services limited to a small region, which may or may not fall in your campaign.
Limited Industry Support!
Many of such companies do not support many industries. They are focused on one type of work and they limit themselves to work in that field or industry only. If the company you choose only works in Business Translation Services, you would have to look for another vendor to get quality advertisement and marketing translation services, which can cause a potential setback to your project and campaign.
They do not have industry experts. Period. Since most of their translators are newbies and are working these companies to get experience, they are not that confident about their work and they are not experts in their fields. An expert translator will have deep knowledge of the industry you are targeting, and he or she will be aware of all the industry jargons that must be used to make the translation look “normal” and not a ripped off version of an expensive perfume.
These companies take their sweet ol’ time to complete the project. It is not their fault actually. As they do not have the right tools to help them out, they take their time to complete the translation and make sure that it is in a good shape. Sometimes, a normal sized translation project can take up to 2 – 3 weeks, whereas, a Professional Translation Services will be able to complete the project in 3 – 4 days.
Amateur translation services companies are not proactive. As their services are limited, they only focus on what they can provide. So if there is something that can make your project shine in the target market and your hired company cannot work on that; forget about it. They will not share the idea with you because that means they will lose the contract if you knew.
No New World Services!
Many of the experienced or professional Fast Translation Services are offering multiple services to their clients including DTP (Desktop Publishing), Designing, API, Web Development and even SEO help. These services come in extra handy because the professional companies have native experts working on your project to make it fit in your target market. Alas, these services are limited to only professional companies.
Without a doubt, this is the worst thing that you would have to deal with some major quality issues. Many of the professional and quality translation services make sure that the translations they send to their clients are one hundred percent perfect. They have designated proofreaders, team leaders and managers who take care of such things. Plus, they are certified by quality control organizations like ISO and UKAS. And the amateur companies have a long way to go before they can get ISO certification.
Localization is very necessary for translations that will be read by the masses. Sure, you can simply have your product descriptions translated word by word, but when it comes to material that will potentially make you a brand in your target region needs to be localized. And localization comes with experience and native translators.
Use Of Machine Translation!
Many, many of the amateur companies uses machine translations. This is a fact that cannot be ignored and much be acknowledged. Have you seen the Chinese translation fails? If you have, then why would still compromise your campaign? If these are running a little behind on the deadlines, they WILL use machine translations, which is the worst.
Their workflow is not deadline oriented. Sure, there are some really good amateur translation services companies, but finding one would be like finding a needle in a haystack. You may have to spend tons and tons of time researching and finding the right match can take ages. As these companies don’t have the right tools, the work gets delayed and yes, your boss will be shouting at you for the delay. So choose wisely my friend.
Smaller Resource Pool!
Most of the amateur companies do not have the resource pool to work on your big projects. They may have, 6 maximum 10 translators, but not all of them will be able to work on your projects because they will be working on several other projects at the same time as well. So if you have a project that requires special attention or is deadline oriented, you can be certain that your chosen vendor will not be able to work in your parameters.
Here is another quick fact: you cannot trust the translations unless you have them read by another translator. If you know the target language, fine you can do it yourself. But if you want your vendor to proofread the project, make sure that your pocket goes deep because this is going to cost you, a lot. There will always be extra cost for Proofreading Services and it will be expensive.
The translator made some mistakes that you found in proofreading? Do not worry, simply ask your vendors to revise the document and correct the mistakes. But Wait! You guessed it: it is going to cost you. Some of these companies offer that the first revision would be free and the other revisions would cost you. And in many cases, these revisions can cost you half the amount of the whole project.
Believe it or not, but there will be hidden fees. They might be disguised as “overall” fee, but trust us; there will be plenty of them. Most of the time, these companies cost you extra in rates. The best way to avoid that would be by getting a free quote from any professional translation services company. Once you have a little knowledge of rates, you will realize how much amateur companies are ripping you off. Plus, this practice will teach you to only use quality translation services because they always, always have competitive rates that will be in your budget.
Problems For Translators!
Most of the translators working for these companies are freelancers. They are either stay at home moms or dads or they are some college students who are trying to make some extra cash. The fact is, these translators do not get paid well enough. They work under a person who takes the majority of the cash and the translators are paid peanuts for the work they do. Many a times, the translators do not even get paid and ripped off by agents who “disappear” and never reply back.
These companies do not provide extra perks like team leads, project managers or regular hourly updates. Their services are also limited. Many of the language services provide a plethora of services that are very handy in your business management, marketing and branding. Most professional companies provide services like Subtitling Services, Voice-Over Services, Interpretation Services and Transcription Services. They can also transcreate any content for you in the language of your desire. The amateur companies, sadly, do not have these perks for you.
Another disadvantage of the amateur companies is that they do not have their websites. So that means you will have to email them to get their portfolios. On top of that, many a times, these companies are not “real companies” at all. These “companies” have either one or two members who work together.
In contrast, if you approach a professional Language Translator Services provider, you will find that they have entire teams dedicated to customer services. They have their portfolios on their websites, their certifications are on their websites and you can easily get a quote from them in a matter of minutes.
Plus, they have true testimonials because most of the time, they have corporate clients who are multinational companies. You cannot get a better guarantee of their services than that. If multinational companies trust these companies for quality translations and transparent rates, you can trust them too for any kind of project you may have. An experienced translation company will anticipate your needs, provide you solutions and make sure that their services are one hundred percent accurate and complete.