In this article I am considering reputation in the translations industry. These aspects are often intrinsically tied in with customer services. But customer service is only a part of what makes a reputation.

I would contend that your ad hominem reputation is one of the most blue-chip things that we will personal regardless of where we are of what we do. It is something that is with you always, affects parts of your daily life and is very ambitious to change.

Unfortunately nothing sticks to a reputation quicker or longer then mud (minuss). So it is crucial to debar much latent instance as much as accomplishable and if accomplishable quash any much occurrences irrevocably.

A) Reputation of a Translation Agency with its Clients Like all businesses, without your clients you don’t have a business. A translation agency must insure it creates an acceptable reputation with its clients. This can be accomplished by:

1) Quality of Translation Using only qualified and experienced translators working into their mother-tongue. Proofreading of the translation. Testing translators and scrutinising of their translation work. Sticking with the sought and proven translation professionals

One way quality is sometimes lost is through subcontracting. The translation agency has misplaced control of the translation and is therefore not in control of the quality.

2) Quality of Service Quick response and general customer care.

3) Management of the Clients Expectations A translation professional cannot always expect someone who is not working in the industry to understand what is required. This particularly applies to deadlines.

In such cases it is better to offer options with the translation quotation rather then promises that you cannot keep. For instance: The options might be ‘later delivery v no proofreading’
The general rule has to be that you only commit to what you can achieve.

B) Reputation of a Translation Agency with Freelance Translators Most agencies use a mixture of both employed and freelance translators. The freelancer only assists as and when necessitated against acquired projects. A acceptable freelance translator is pretty much like an acceptable translation agency: ‘They render acceptable quality of work and they work to mutually agreed deadlines’.

Having freelancers that you can rely on is part of being a good translation company and an integral part therefore of keeping the reputation of the agency with its clients.

You can most easily manage your translations agencies reputation with freelancers by:

1) Prompt Payment It seems that the translation industry is a minefield full of late paying translation agencies that need chasing repeatedly. Its completely unconventional to me as this takes additive resources of the agency to pull off the advanced payments. After all, if payments of £25 make a difference to your business, you may care to address this matter through other means.

Paying your translator early or on time can therefore standout. They will finger acceptable about the agency and be more consenting to go that additive mile in quality and working hours to appear after the translation agencies interests.

2) Agreement before commencement It is best that as many variables as possible are agreed in writing before the project commences. Ensure that in composing the translators has been informed of: i) Language Combination and Direction ii) Types of translation Is it medical for instance iii) Type of source document e.g. PDF iv) Format the translation is to be returned in. e.g. MS Word v) Translation Deadline vi) Fee or rate to be utilized vii) Wordcount. (In some cases it is accomplishable and incumbent to send out a copy of the translation in advance to the translators. But this is often curtailed as prior to having an afloat agreement with the translator this could be viewed as a breach of your clients confidentiality).

At this point the translation agency should require feedback from the translator. A composed confirmation that they are able of carrying through the requirements set-out.

C) Reputation as a Freelance Translator The saying goes ‘a salesman is only as good as his last sale’. A akin stating could also be utilized to translators ‘A translator is only as acceptable as their last translation’. In both circumstances there is the detail to consider.

A freelance translator generally seeks a situation where they have a regular client base who consider them first. Ideally, if they are too engaged the client will still come to them first for the next project and the next project.

Reputation for a freelancer allows them to earn better rates even though there will always be someone else offering to do the same job for less money. It allows the freelance translator to discourse the issues of a project openly with the client or translation project manager and have them work with them to accomplished their service.

The reputation of a freelance translator can be most easily maintained by:

1) Staying within their capabilities. It is not best to take on highly perplexed specialised texts that you have no experience with unless you have discoursed this with your client and have an unclouded plan how you will accomplished the project. Otherwise you might execute below what is commonsense.

2) Work to deadlines. Ensure that you measure the deadline and only agree to what is achievable. If you are upfront and state when the translation can be achievable this may well turnout close-grained and debar loss of your ad hominem standards for quality.

3) Check your work. It is best to take a little interrupt and then review your translation before you send out. You may have made some uncomplicated error or pretermited something that this last skim can pluck up. This will also debar you sending out the improper file. Checking you personal work is not proofreading. Proofreading in my opinion involves a 2nd autonomous translator.

4) Problems If you have a problem or require extra time it is important to tell the client ASAP. This allows the issue to be addressed as soon as accomplishable and a solution happened. The problem might be legibility of part of the source text or you might be delayed callable to an ad hominem problem. If possible, the more discouraging notice the better for everybody.

I guess when reading this we must be reminded that with extra care and communication we should all be able to benefit from less problems and more stability from our lives in the translations industry. This care will guard our reputations

Nigel has worked internationally for many years and is a partner at the Translations Agency – Axis Translations The author specialises in Translation Project Management for: Technical Translations, Legal Translations, Italian Translations, etc

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