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Who are our translators? Dispelling the myth

November 11, 2014

Who are our translators? Dispelling the myth

November 11, 2014

Who are our translators? Dispelling the myth

November 11, 2014
ATP Europe conference taking place at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow, London on 11 – 13 October 2022

computer-338968_640We often get asked by our clients who our translators are and how we go about establishing a relationship with them in the first place. After all, it is our translators whose task it is to convey your core company message in any translated materials.

First off, it is worth looking at who we are, as this has a bearing on the way we work and the translators we use. Comms Multilingual is a specialist translation agency, with an extensive database of freelance translators with specialisms in many different subject areas.

This is in contrast to some other translation companies, who maintain an internal team of translators. Obviously, they need to use their own internal people first, but it can mean that linguists are used for projects which are outside their areas of subject expertise.

Our choice to outsource translations is a conscious one, primarily because we deal with a wide range of materials and subject matter. This allows our project managers to select the most appropriate translators from our database of over 1,500 tried and trusted linguists, which we are able to search on a number of criteria.

So who will actually be doing my translation?

Our database of freelance linguists is constantly maintained and expanded, to ensure that we keep a good spread of translators across the languages we work in (over 100 combinations), and in the domains and subject areas we need. Where a need to expand our coverage is identified, we target a range of sources, from industry-specific associations to membership lists of regional translation groups. For each project, our experienced project managers hand pick the teams based on internal ratings, expertise in the subject area and personal preference. Our project managers communicate with each other all the time and good feedback travels fast between colleagues!

We have very strict criteria that we use to judge initial applicants and potential providers. We follow (and in most cases surpass) the EU standard for translation (EN15038) requirements for translators and linguists. We look for:

  • Fluency in the target language (their mother tongue/first language)
  • An excellent understanding of the source language
  • Expertise in the subject matter area (first degree or vocational experience)
  • At least 3 (normally 5) years’ experience in translation
  • Usually a higher-level degree in translation
  • Proof of following a programme of continuous professional development
  • References from previous employers or agencies
  • Proficiency in translation, judged through a short translation test, which is reviewed by a trusted linguist
  • Knowledge/use of CAT (computer assisted translation) tools.

This means that our translators by definition aren’t students, and have a significant amount of experience in the industry, with the necessary resources available to them to ensure a quality end product. And once your translation is complete, our standard process is to then have a second native speaker linguist proofread it, who will check for meaning, grammar, style and spelling before we perform our own internal checks and deliver back to you in the format you need.

We’d be keen to hear your experiences about your translations from elsewhere (either your own staff, or companies, or freelancers), as we love to learn more about others’ approaches and see how we can improve our own service. Please feel free to get in touch with any comments or questions: info@commsmultilingual.com.

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