The value we bring to our clients is NOT in finding a translator. It is in selecting a translator from the huge number of freelance translators working around the world.
For example, Proz.com is the largest network of freelance translators. It has 462,155 translators listed.
Translators come in all different forms. While some are true professionals with years of experience and subject area expertise, others are not. In addition, some translators are more technically savvy than others and can work on projects that require special software, while other translators would find this challenging and outside their range of experience. Many translators are ethical and never take on work they are not qualified in, while others would not hesitate to do so. Some translators are very responsive and will deliver projects on time each time. Others are not so dependable. Further, and this has happened more than once, some certified translators will accept work based on their certified status and turn around and outsource to translators who are not qualified. The result is disastrous.
One of our clients posted a job on Translators’ Café, another network for translators, and he received 2800 replies in one day. However, this client chose to go with us despite the 2800 replies he received. Here is why:
We use a process called Peer Review. It is a common methodology used in professional fields such as medicine or law. Imagine you are a heart surgeon and you have just invented a new method of inserting a pacemaker in a patient’s heart. For a lay person, it is very difficult to judge the merit or validity of this new procedure. But other doctors, those who are peers of the heart surgeon and who do that type of work every day, can easily critique and judge whether the process is an improvement or is simply bogus.
In translation, peer review works the same way. For a lay person or someone who doesn’t speak the language, it is very hard to tell if a translator or a piece of translation is any good. But if you ask their peers to review it, they can tell right away. We use that principle and leverage from our established network of qualified translators to vet new ones. Translators who want to work with us write a test and then other translators (the ones we have qualified previously) will review the test and provide feedback.
After a translator has been vetted, we monitor their performance by giving them small assignments first and then larger ones. During our ongoing monitoring, we also evaluate the quality of their work, how easy they are to work with and whether they are reliable. The end result is that we save our clients’ time by only working with translators who have been vetted and proven.