How do you trust a new translator?

June 15, 2011 by admin

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We all have our favourites, whether it is our favourite designer, our favourite drink or our favourite chocolate. When you pop into the newsagents’ at lunchtime and find they don’t have your usual packet of crisps and you’re second and third choice isn’t in stock either, do you give up and go back to the office sulking or try something new? Okay, translators aren’t a commodity, they are a million times more complicated and valuable than a packet of crisps, but the general concept is the same. When I’ve sold a huge translation project and all my favourites are taken, what do I do? Go back to the client and say sorry, but ‘no can do’, or make sure I get the job done and I get it done well? No prizes for guessing this one…

So I’ve already made my commitment, there’s no going back; I ask my colleagues for recommendations, but no luck! So now I turn to the newbies on the database. This could become a very difficult situation, but my HR team has done a good job so theoretically I should have nothing to worry about. The CVs, references and sample translations all reassure me that each of these guys are great at what they do, but how do I pick the right one?!
In an ideal situation I would ease a translator in gently, try them on some short jobs and get a good idea of their style and capabilities, but in this scenario my gut instinct will also have a lot to do with my final decision. The wrong choice will mean more work for me, but the right choice will bag me another favourite!

This still doesn’t answer my question about how to trust a new translator, or any new supplier for that matter. I recently met with a very interesting business owner who, in this time of technology and cyber communication, holds great regard for face-to-face meeting and relationship building. She has met with each of her suppliers in person and actually interviewed them individually, which really does make great business sense. When we hire a new member of our team, we wouldn’t dream of offering them a position without an interview, so why have a different approach to any of our suppliers for translation services? The transition from being a supplier to forming a business relationship requires a great deal of trust and confidence, something which, to me, can only be affirmed by actually meeting with our business partners in person.

Having your favourites is a natural course for business, but spreading and sharing the supplier love maintains healthy competition, and that is exactly what helps to avoid difficult situations in the future. So next time you reach for your favourite, think again, it might not be the most convenient choice, but trialling a new option will better prepare you for future growth and success.

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Taylor Wessing LLP

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Maximus Crushing and Screening

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For a company looking into translations, I would highly recommend Rosetta as first pick, as the support and service they provide is first class.

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