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When things go wrong…

Although professional translation companies continually monitor their quality processes and try to ensure that excellence comes as standard, when things go wrong and a problem suddenly arises, (which happens in any kind of business) what should you expect?

There are several strategies to deal with the unexpected; some will show how professional a company is, whereas others highlight a lack of structure and decision-making skills. First of all, companies who really care about their clients are willing to provide sincere and transparent communication, so they will not lie if there is a problem which will affect performance or deadlines. It is professional to advise the client in advance if any major issues arise, so that both the translation business and the client can try to look for a solution, as quality is always the final goal of any committed translation professional.

Secondly, a translation company run by professional linguists know how to deal with texts which have been badly translated. Some businesses will upload the text on their server and tear it into short excerpts for people to translate it as quickly as possible. This method not only lacks structure, but also quality. If we take manual translation as an example, having hundreds of people translating a few sentences means that consistent terminology and quality control become very difficult to ensure. I don’t think many companies would want to waste their precious money in this way. Even in the worst cases, if a translation team is allocated – i.e. a group of professional linguists who work on the same document or group of documents – it cannot be too large a group, and it is always essential to nominate a proofreader, who will review the work of the whole team in order to check the consistency of terminology and style.

If things go wrong, a committed business will accept their responsibilities. They won’t moan, but will briefly explain what happened, so that their client understands the situation, negotiate again on rates and deadlines and explain their strategy towards finding a suitable and effective solution. A true language provider is not just a company offering language services, but rather a team of professionals who can create solutions in a quick and effective way.

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About Sharon Stephens

Sharon Stephens is Operations Director of Lingua Translation. With a First Class Honours Degree in Translation and a University Lecturer in Translation (Masters), she is a self confessed language geek! Bringing the academic principles of translation and business together Sharon offers a quality-driven and needs centric translation and interpreting service - like no other.

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