The density of companies, agencies, freelancers and students offering their services in the translations market is very high. Fortunately, more civilized rules apply among this congestion, than in a crowd waiting for the shops to be opened on Black Friday.
Believe it or not, in Poland we suffer similar shopping madness around Christmas time, when a fish promo is thrown out (please, don’t ask why, it is really hard to tell the reason).
As fish has already been mentioned, let’s try to relate it to the market of translation services as a loose metaphor. Imagine you represent a branch or a company that regularly requires translation services and you have to choose a provider. What should you take into consideration to end up with a delicious fresh fish, caught in line with the principles of sustainable management of fisheries? How to avoid antibiotic-stuffed compound fish product?
The fishing usually begins among friends. You look for recommendations and suggestions on the translations agency worth your trust. You may catch an outstanding fish this way! But at the same time you may not. You probably would hear pieces of advice like ‘Why are you looking for a translations agency? You’ll pay a lot. The dictionary is all the same everywhere. Muriel, daughter of Jake’s neighbour… Remember Jake? Exactly! So this Jake had a neighbour, Stanley was his name. And Stanley’s daughter Muriel used to study Polish. I don’t know if she graduated. Doesn’t matter. We have been in Cracow once and she could order us some cocktails, so she does speak Polish. Call Jake.’ Here the danger begins. Even if in some cases negative consequences of incorrect translation can be minimised, it is not that simple to rebuild the company’s repute. Can you afford putting your image of a reliable business partner at risk? It would cost more than a professional translation to gain it back. Do not forget your competition – ruthless corporate sharks – they know best how to put your blooper to good use…
Net-fishing in the Inter-net
Recommendations are important, but you need to analyse them thoroughly and use all the available data to verify your potential translations supplier. Every legit agency that offers translation services has a website, where its client should be able to find every information they need and contact details in case they wanted to ask for explanations. The following data should catch your attention:
- The agency’s experience and history – important, particularly when you are looking for a stable business partner with established position on the market
- References – letters, not only logos published on the website
- Quality warranties and the complaint options when a service was conducted in violation of the prearranged order
- Value added – free of charge services, offered in a package with the main order, such as graphic layout of the document, quality control and so on
A spoiled fish may happen once at a time, even at the best fishmongers, but following given rules reduces the risk of indigestion.
Is the most expensive fish always the best?
In Western countries, it is a common practice when organising public procurements to reject the cheapest and the most expensive offer straightaway. How many times have you heard someone complaining that some investment was executed in a hopeless way because ‘the most advantageous’ offer has been chosen. How many times have you whinged yourself? The costs of repairing often exceed the most expensive offer tendered in the procurement in the first place. Of course, it does not mean that the most expensive is the best. It is better though to avoid suspiciously low prices, because they often generate additional costs, not only the material ones.
First meal free of charge
Some translations agencies offer a free trial, so you can test a potential translations supplier before you decide to commission an important document to translate. You just need to contact the company with a text you want to verify them with. After receiving the final work, you will be able to assess the level of service and cooperation. You can try out SOWA TRANSLATIONS HOUSE as well. We will show you what comprehensive customer service means in practice.
Choose wisely, partner with a professional translations agency, e.g. SOWA TRANSLATIONS HOUSE, and let yourself have other fish to fry.