Translation agencies and services can often seem like a ‘black box’ – you send off some written word documents or a video that needs subtitles, and then in a few hours or days, you get the result back, but with very little information on what the process actually involves. Whether you are a business looking to have documents translated, an individual looking for a one-off translation, or someone curious about joining the translation industry, it can be very interesting to see what really happens behind the scenes of a translation agency in London. From initially receiving a document until the final delivery of the finished translation, the translation industry can be fascinating to work in.
Who are translators?
First, let’s look at the people who work inside a translation agency in London. Since translation is very focused and individual work, a lot of translators work from home, most often as freelancers. Translators are highly trained individuals who have to be experts in their field. This is important to make sure that all the translations are accurate and correct – however, there’s not just accuracy to consider, but also flow and ‘feel’ of the finished piece. This is the main difference between machine translation and using a skilled human translator – a machine may accurately translate individual words or short phrases, while a human translator will make sure that the finished text reads properly with good flow and has all the nuance right. This is also why many translation agencies in London will use native-speaking translators – that is, translators who translate into their native language – helping ensure the best translation quality possible.
What goes into translating a document?
Translating any kind of document, whether it is a certificate, a web page, a white paper, or a financial report, can be a complex and time-consuming task. However, translators rarely work on this entirely alone. Most translators in London agencies will have a project manager who works as a go-between for them and the client. The project manager will help communicate any specific requirements, check for updates, and make sure that no one is left unsure of what is going on at any particular moment.
As well as project managers, translators will often deal with a second translator. Since most agencies have multiple translators for any language, documents can be proofread by a second skilled and trained translator. This means that any problems or inconsistencies can be caught and dealt with more easily than if there is just one translator working on a project.
Translators also need to be highly skilled in laying out documents. Every language has different conventions in how documents and written texts are laid out and presented. This can be even more noticeable when dealing with documents such as certificates, immigration documents, and other official government paperwork – and even a translation agency in London will have to deal with government documents from all over the world. The translator has to be sure to make the finished text properly laid out as the right type of document to help make sure the client can use it more easily.
So, we can see that translators are highly skilled individuals who do a lot of hard work to translate documents. However, in a translation agency in London, they do not work alone and have support from other trained and experienced professionals.
What do translation agencies in London translate?
This is of course the big question for people who are looking to find a suitable translator for their documents or files. What do translation agencies in London translate? What can they translate, and what can’t they? Well, it’s a rather simple question to answer – as translation agencies have a range of professional translators and linguists with a huge range of backgrounds, there is almost nothing that can’t be translated.
Firstly, there needs to be a large range of languages known. There are over 6000 languages spoken in the world today, but many of these are so small that they rarely come up in a translator’s work. Instead, most translation jobs are for the most popular 100 languages in the world. So having this range covered means that most documents can be translated.
Secondly, with there being a wide range of document types, there needs to be a wide range of experienced translators. You wouldn’t want an advert translated by someone whose expertise is in translating medical notes, and you wouldn’t want it the other way around either. This is why translation agencies are great – they can have people with widely different fields of experience to help you find the right translator, and to ensure that almost anything can be translated.