Our industry is truly one built on trust and transparency which are also part of our core values; thus, both are a focus in everything we do at Global Accent. As such, I wanted to share a little about our "secret sauce" and why it has become the recipe for us to ensure our clients' ongoing success.
We often get questions like, “if you don’t know the language yourself, how can you guarantee the quality of a translation?” and “How do you figure out how long a translation is going to take (and can it be quicker 😊)?” Today, we are going to answer those questions (and a few more) by diving into our standard project process.
In the translation industry, there is a common process called TEP (translate-edit-proofread). This is the foundation of our process as well, although we have modified and added to it as necessary in order to meet our clients’ specific needs. For quality assurance, the key is to work with the right linguists. Having the right people in place is a KEY component of building the trust that makes this all work seamlessly.
In our process, the first step is to analyze the files with our CAT software, Trados, to set everything up for success. Trados analyzes the file for repetitions and matches with past projects for that client. This way, we can ensure that our clients don’t pay full price for text that had been previously translated or that is repeated! Trados also does a lot of additional small things that help QA and this can be a full topic of its own, but it is important to point out that Trados helps improve our human translations in many ways.
Once we have used Trados to determine the scope of the project and prepare the files for our linguists, it’s time to find our translator. We have all of our experienced linguists’ specialties and backgrounds available within our PM software to quickly and easily find the perfect fit for each project. Once we have our translator, we look for our editor. We also connect our translator and editor for a project, because we believe it helps foster a collaborative atmosphere and a better final product. Not every agency does this but it is a critical component to ensure the highest quality final output. Once the file has been translated and edited, it goes back to the initial translator for final proofing. At that point, the translator sends us their final file and we perform a final internal QA and get back to the team with any final questions. Then we finalize the file via Trados once again, and our project is complete.
So, to go back to our initial questions above, we approach quality via people and process. If you have the right people in place, then you are already most of the way there. A good translator will ask the right questions to improve the source text, the translation, and the project overall. They help with cultural issues and questions without even being explicitly asked. While they are still working to complete the project on time and on budget, they are also thinking about these issues outside the specific task of translation to improve the final product overall. We have been developing the “people” side of our process for over 15 years and I am proud to say we work with some of the best linguists in our industry. When you mix in our thorough QA process described above, it creates an ideal final product for our clients.
As for timing, this is also something that has developed over the course of our many years working with translation projects. We have a standard amount of words (or characters) per day for each language that we find gives the linguists enough time to provide an optimal product. We then have a similar determination for editing time, and we have standard expectations for our project admin tasks and final QA. As many of our clients know, we do offer rush and weekend options – these are carefully calibrated to prioritize timing without pushing our linguists to the point that the chance of error increases significantly. As with any thought-intensive task, the less time you have, the higher the risk of error. So these rush projects are calculated risks and we have found that between our PM team and our top-of-the-line linguists, we can still keep risk of linguistic error low and quality high, despite the constraints. We are always transparent and collaborative with our clients so that we can customize our service to meet their needs.
I hope this helps provide a little perspective into what we’re doing and why we’re doing it! Our clients' success is the pinnacle of our success and is at the heart of everything we do. If you have questions about our process, want to learn more, or have a project you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected], or our team at [email protected].