Most professional translation firms are oriented around “repeat” business and Bedford Translations exemplifies this approach. By working for the same clients time and again they develop translations which are of high quality and tailored to their long term-requirements. This can apply to all the key departments of a typical large corporation – for technical translation, legal translation, financial translation, marketing and the web.
There is a high degree of specialisation within the professional translation community, and hence professional translation firms employ specialist legal, technical financial and marketing translators. And this community is now global. The use of the Internet and broadband now means that most translators are employed “in-country”. Whether the translator is in Russia or Brazil, Egypt or China, the same professional skills – and the same deadlines – apply for legal, technical and financial translation.
CVs, references, etc., are naturally used in the first instance when selecting translators but past performance is always the best guide. Powerful databases allows work to be tailored to translators’ specialities, and the ability to cross-reference job/translator/customer information allows for better decision-making based objective, documented evidence.
Translation memory programs are often directly applicable for technical translation services. Typically, operating and service manuals, parts catalogues, product databases etc. contain a high degree of duplication. Translation memory allows edited translations to be stored in the form of sentence pairs. During subsequent translations this archive is searched for similar or identical matches, which are then used as the basis for new translations. This means that the translator does not have to rely on his own memory as to how a particular expression was translated previously or spend time searching for previous instances. In short, it can vastly speed up the translation process. Greater consistency makes for more professional technical publications and documents that are easier and safer for clients to use.
Translation memory is also ideal for any material that has elements of duplication or that is revised from time to time – in fact most translation requirements. Website translation, software, product brochures, specifications and so on all benefit from this approach.
Translation memories are deployed for various customers in increasing number of language pairs, sometimes for specific product lines or even on a project-by-project basis. TM allows project memories to be exchanged or shared, decreasing the dependence on specific translators. Large, well-maintained TM’s allow Bedford Translations to provide a consistent product, helping to reinforce lengthy client relationships and securing ever-precious translation assets for the future.
“Customer care” is an essential part of the package. Bedford translations’ customers are contacted frequently and job follow-up helps to cement relationships. Many customers look for an overall business solution, and strategic partnerships within the industry are helping to bring this about.