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Making translators an intrinsic part of your business


If you have an international business, you are likely to need translators and language service providers (LSPs) to help you with your marketing strategy. But just how do you establish a good relationship with them? I have complied a few suggestions to help you, based on my own experience working in this field.

Getting your translators on board

Once you identify the right translator or translators to work on your project, the next step is to agree on the conditions of your mutual collaboration. Terms and conditions as well as codes of ethics are common for both LSPs and freelancers, and are shared between the client and the freelancer/LSP prior to starting any translation project.

After all the paperwork is revised, the standard practice among recruiters in the industry is to perform an entry test. If the test result is positive, then you can start your collaboration with the chosen translator or translators. The signing of a service agreement or any contract can be done before or after the test; this will depend on your company’s workflow, although my recommendation is to sign all the paperwork after the testing process has been completed and the translator brought on board.


Building a solid relationship

A long-term business relationship can sometimes seem difficult to achieve when dealing with freelancers, but there are some things which can help you create a successful working relationship with your translators:

  • Make sure the translators are aware of and follow your official code of conduct to improve communication.
  • Engage translators through competitiveness and commitment.
  • When possible, ask for their input to strengthen your partnership.
  • Periodically revise their objectives and continuous professional development.
  • Assign specific points of contact within your company to deal with the translators – this will avoid miscommunication and threats to the collaboration.

Once you are familiar with your translators, you can start continually monitoring the quality of their work. This does not mean that the quality of their translations is poor, but you need to revise their work at this point. This involves giving feedback to the translators about their performance up to that point, and monitoring the progress of the projects you are sending them. In a nutshell, you need to make sure the collaboration is developing as expected to avoid risks in the future.

You should also measure the continuous personal development (CPD) your translators are carrying out in order to advance in their own careers. Unfortunately, this is something that highly depends on the individual and different people give CPDs higher or lower degrees of importance. However, we can’t help but notice how younger generations give more importance to this method of monitoring their career progression than more experienced translators.

If you are a large and established organisation, you might be better off establishing a relationship with a language service provider, which will give your company access to a bank of skilled translators. Working with an LSP will also ensure you get the best quality when it comes to translation services, and it will put you one step ahead of your competitors.

Although it is not always an easy task, finding, selecting and working with translators is very rewarding. We can happily say that by following this method we have been creating many fruitful relationships with translators for years.

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Carmen Cisneros

Resources Administrator at Webcertain
Carmen has worked in different vendor management positions since the beginning of her career, after finishing her studies in Translation and Interpreting at the University Jaume I in Spain. She prides herself on her pro-activity and helpfulness working with freelancers and translation agencies from all over the world. She helps to grow and manage Webcertain's database of suppliers as a Resources Administrator. Carmen is originally from Spain, and has been living in the UK for a year.

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