How To Choose The Best Translator/Editor For Your Project

How To Choose The Best Translator/Editor For Your Project

This article assumes you are familiar with the concept of what a Translation Management System like miniTPMS is, and you don't need to be patronised about things like: the best translators are those who translate only in one language pair, and they translate only to their mother-tongue and all that jazz.

If your translator made it into the miniTPMS pool of translators, we're ready to believe you did your due diligence, tested the translator properly, took the credentials, asked for diploma scans, whatever...

how to chose the best translator for your project

Now that we're over that, let's check how to pick the best translator or reviewer for the project your Customer just gave you. ​

Funny story:​

Some bigger Language Service Providers, and lately even TMS providers are a tellin' that you shouldn't always use the same translators. Like, you are better of if you "refresh" your team of translators from time to time. This mostly being read as:

refreshing the pool of translators = finding cheaper translators and increasing your profit margins

Now, okay, I'm a businessman, I sell stuff (the translation management system that will shake up the world), and I understand that the goal of every business is to make more money. Nothing wrong with that.

But stating that we should switch translators, sorry, refresh them within a project, to increase margins is not the best idea. Actually it's a very bad idea.

The best trick how to chose the right #xl8 team for your #t9n #l10n project and ensure the quality will be high.

Click to Tweet

Here's how you chose your translation team the right way

People who are on our list understand that I'm a big fan of processes. "Mental" or written ones alike, because they give you the power of control. This sounds a little like we're in Germany, everything by the book, no room for improvisation, but it's not as stiff as that.

  • Reliability - this is the most important factor, your whole process depends on it, next steps depend on it, and your relationship with your customers depend on it.
  • Returning sh..t in time - did I hear reliability again? Well yes, it's that important.
  • How hard is it to work with this particular person (called "The Prima Donna factor" and it goes both ways, of course)
  • Past Experience in this project
  • Quality
  • Past Experience in similar projects of the same field,
  • Price

Note: I was trying to rank stuff by importance here, 1st being the most important, and so forth.​ You can argue with me.

Okay, let's not argue. Just, don't take it too literally, I mean, sometimes there are projects where the price is the most important factor. Or maybe quality is the most important requirement for a different project, but the customer understands that and gives you three times the budget and time. It's just how it is.

In miniTPMS we are therefore making a formula for translators assessment, which goes beyond the standard QA. Quality is important, but if you have the best translator in the world who is constantly late, you will lose a customer. ​

Losing a customer is much more painful than losing a translator if you ask me. It's the classical story of sacrificing one to save the many. Because the same client is "feeding" more of your colleagues, they have more saying in what's the next step going to be.

This is how miniTPMS is rating translators (and other vendors) in the pool of similar service providers

We are creating a formula based on factors, that I have outlined here. At the Vendor level, you can of course make a quality check on each translator for each project, and all that goes into the calculation.

But if someone is at the acceptable (not the best) quality, but has a better price and better overall score, and also has done past work on the same project, they will pop-up higher in the list of vendors.

And THAT is how you chose your vendors.

I get it, someone just likes to do some bidding with their pool of 6,000 robots, well, that's also a possibility but it might come later. And it's not really the most productive way, if you ask me. 

Someone thinks changing the translator to a cheaper one in order to get a bigger margin should be done from time to time.

You can do all these things, but the process will always put your calculated ideal vendor at the top, because this is the best of all worlds:

  • Your Customer will get a consistent translation, because of past experience
  • Your translator will learn in time, thus increasing quality
  • The Editor will have less work, apparently, in the end you might even save some money on faster editing
  • Finally, as a PM or Owner of the small agency, you are making a stronger bond with all of these people at once. 

There's another thing which I find pretty important at this point:

Lately the translations are more like chunks of files sent to you by your customer. Gone are the days of daily requests for 80,000 words of translation. So if you still want to make good money with small projects, using the one good translator who knows the project inside out is the best choice you will ever make.​

So with a little help from your "inner voice" - and also relying on the formula and the proven concept that machines can be wrong, but people can be "wronger" - you are making a good choice for your customer, for your colleagues and for yourself.

Absolute win situation.

Love it or hate it, but don't be indifferent. Leave a comment, and I might ignore it. Or not. Depends on how good it is.

Still not on our awesome list? Click here to Enroll. ​

Leave a Comment: