15 July 2021

Translation agencies: why choose them?

Categoria: Translation

Every company has at least one person who knows foreign languages, so you might wonder why it is necessary to turn to a translation agency.

Using a specialized agency saves time and money.

If you translate a document in house, without a specially trained translator, you have to choose the most appropriate person within the company to whom to entrust the task, check that the work has been done professionally, and – almost certainly – revise and correct the text.

If, on the other hand, you turn to a translation agency, you can delegate and centralize all these steps, reducing turnaround time and increasing the efficiency of the process compared to the alternative of amateur improvisation.

Another fundamental factor that makes using an agency the better choice is translation quality.

It is not enough to have native knowledge of the document’s source and target languages; it is necessary to know – and above all be able to use – the techniques and tools of the trade.

No matter how reliable and enterprising, an employee who usually works in a field other than translation services is unlikely to have these skills.

Professional translation requires specific training – and a lot of previous experience.

As in all sectors, in the language industry you need to hire professionals for excellent results, and the easiest way to do this is often through an agency.

Language translations with certified professionals

Abroad, when contacting a translation agency, one of the first requirements is to entrust the job to certified professionals who will ensure high-quality work.

Unfortunately, in Italy there is no professional register of translators and interpreters, so other criteria are used to contract these professionals.

One solution is provided by the ISO 17100 European standard, which regulates professional translation services. The standard specifies the requirements and skills of all professionals involved in the work cycle, from translators to editors, project managers and subject matter experts who add value to specialist translations.

Another credential attesting to translators’ professionalism is their membership in professional associations such as the ANITI or AITI, which is viewed favourably by an agency when recruiting.

One special case is that of certified translations.

In Italy, every court locally manages, with a relative degree of autonomy, the requirements a translator must meet to provide this service: from simple self-certification to registration as a Court Technical Consultant (CTU) with the Court Registry as a form of guarantee.

In this case, the translation agency may decide to assist and support the translator in the procedure required for authorization so as to have a court-qualified professional in its network.

Beyond certifications and degrees, what really matters, if you want to obtain high-quality work, is hiring an expert – especially when you consider the wide range of different specialized fields agencies offer their services in.

Experts for translation in all sectors

Translation agencies usually offer services covering various sectors: financial, legal, medical/scientific, technical, leisure (which includes fashion, luxury, design, tourism, agri-food) and entertainment.

Consequently, documents requiring translation are highly varied: from consolidated financial statements to clinical studies, technical data sheets and the contents of a website.

They are specialized and sector-specific texts that require the use of the technical language and phraseology of professionals in the relevant field.

Consequently, in order to faithfully translate the information contained in the original, it is necessary to use resources with in-depth knowledge of the language, concepts and logic underlying the relevant sector.

Depending on what type of document needs to be translated, the translation agency has its project managers select the most suitable person for the job from its team of approved translators.

Translators almost always specialize in certain areas. Some are exclusively dedicated to legal translations, some only deal with medical and scientific texts, while others are experts capable of combining various skills and covering several areas, such as legal and financial.

It is hardly surprising that among the requirements applicable to agencies for selecting translators, the ISO 17100 Standard also allows for a qualification other than a degree in translation, provided it is accompanied by more than two years of professional experience as a translator.

It is crucial for a professional agency to train their people, which is why agencies often set up in-house academies.

Translation agency with academy training

Training is a key asset for translation agencies that want to offer customers high-quality service that is always up to date.

Language changes, work transforms and technology evolves: all this requires continuous training, which is why the most sensitive and forward-looking translation agencies create in-house academies to help their human resources grow through training.

These training schools have a twofold purpose.

On the one hand, they offer the company’s network of colleagues the opportunity to keep up to date with the latest industry developments, and, on the other hand, they train young people aspiring to work in the profession.

Every agency structures its academy differently. Some offer specialized courses in a particular sector, some focus on the use of new tools and technologies, and others combine both aspects.

At Way2Global, for example, in line with our vision as a Società Benefit, we have structured our academy as a place to promote technological innovation within our predominantly female translator community. Since women and young people have been most affected by the consequences of the pandemic, we decided to start by prioritizing these two stakeholder categories and to offer them our expertise on a pro-bono basis so as to foster digital reskilling and upskilling of these valuable people.

Through virtual classroom lessons and practical training sessions, our agency seeks to support its network of women translators with the opportunity to train completely free of charge by sharing our expertise, in line with our Benefit ethos.

Want to know more about Way2AcademyClick here!

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