We all live in a world where information is overwhelming. We are bombarded with e-mails, Facebook posts, phone calls and other channels. That’s why mining Big Data is really a big deal: it helps you select those pieces of information you really need. It is also true when you want select a translation vendor. How? You google it, right. Millions of hits and after browsing three pages you give up and simply send your quote to the three first companies on the list. That was your mining today. But when it comes to ongoing cooperation, spanning years of even decades, it’s really crucial to choose the agency that fits your needs. So if you mined well, you have found this article that attempts to guide you about choosing the best vendor if you have serious translation needs. Let’s start and become smart(er)!

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If you need translation services frequently, there’s a chance that the documents or pieces of software are somewhat similar. You don’t want to pay twice for the same translation. It makes sense, huh? That’s how it should work but it’s not always the case. That’s why it’s paying off in a big way to ask some questions from your future translation agency. Do they use some kind of software? How are repetition priced? If you are lucky, they will answer that yes, they use either Trados or Memoq or other Computer Aided Translation tool (which is not Machine Translation at all), and you are going to receive discount on repetitions and fuzzy matches (fuzzy matches are partial repetitions). 9 out of 10 translation agencies today use CAT tools and you will be happy that, after all, you don’t have to pay extra for repetitive part of the documents over the years. It’s great!

But what about really urgent and large volume translations? Well, this is where things get really tricky. It’s not enough to have a simple CAT tool, you need much more than that: the ability to create high-quality, consistent (which simply means that the same expression is translated in the same way throughout the text) translation, which can be only completed by a team of translators, reviewers and project managers. Simple CAT tools are not enough: you need a so-called Translation Management Server that can handle such load and elevates the idea of translation to the next level. Even if you need hundreds of pages in short notice, a server and a team like that will be able to manage it without a glitch.

The only problem here is that those kind of servers are pretty expensive and only a few agencies can afford them. That’s why it’s always worth asking if your would-be translation vendor has a translation server or not? You will only sound wise, they will understand that you have an idea about the world of translation. In addition, you will receive really great quality translations that would not be possible without the use of the translation server. I know, you say that, ‘Hey! The translators are much more important than the machines!’ – and you are right. But almost all of those agencies who have a translation server, have a reason for it. Chance is that the translators who work on those servers are among the best in the industry.

So, don’t forget to ask your next translation vendor if they have a translation server 🙂

Yes, I can now proclaim that we have such a smart server and we are prepared to take your next huge translation assignment, (which is true), but this article does not have any marketing purposes. 🙂