7 Rules for a Good Translation


A Guide to Success in Outsourcing Translations

Our "7 Rules for a Good Translation" is based on our experience. While each rule is simple, we guarantee that you will see differences in the quality of your translations when followed.

Rule 1: Getting the right translator assigned
Rule 2: Things to prepare before contacting an agency
Rule 3: Ask about quality assurance system
Rule 4: Visualizing the final output you seek
Rule 5: The trade-off, quality vs. time
Rule 6: Knowing and finding the right translation methods
Rule 7: Giving feedback

About a dozen years ago, we were wearing your shoes - in the position of placing orders for translations. Back then, we were much less experienced than many of you probably are; we were outsourcing our translations with no knowledge of desktop publishing (DTP) or how rates were determined. You can just imagine the disastrous results.

Deadlines were missed, budgets were exceeded, and to make matters even worse, the quality of the delivered translations left something to be desired. It led us to think that we could have done a better job ourselves. This ultimately resulted in the establishment of our own translation company, so every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.

Once we found ourselves on the production end of translations, we began seeing things that we had not realized when we were clients of translation companies.

In the past, we thought that the reason behind “good” translations and “bad” translations was simply that there were “good translators” and “bad translators” in this world; you got a good translation if you had a good translator, and vice versa. So, if the quality of a translation we outsourced was terrible, we thought that it was because we had placed the order with a bad translator. However, what we noticed after starting our own translation company was that even if you use the same translator, the quality of his or her translation could differ according to the project manager assigned to the translation.

Where was the difference? It was in a project manager’s ability to get information from clients about their needs and in how instructions were given to translators. We wished that we had known this secret when we were on the client-end, and we wondered why no translation company had told us this back then.

Arc Communications works continuously in an effort to provide services that solve the dissatisfactions that were once felt as a client. This is something that has remained unchanged since our founding.

Of course, every translation company should strive to provide guidance to clients for the enhancement of the quality of translations. But you, too, can raise your satisfaction toward the translations you order, by following some simple tips about outsourcing translations.

Let us now move on to the first of the seven rules.

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