Communicate directly with the person dealing with your documents. You can call him directly any time, since if he takes the job, he will be available to you, that’s him interest, just like yours. Just compare the clumsy communication chain of client – agency – translator – agency – client with calling the translator directly and instructing him he should modify the text here and there. On the other side, if he has any issues with or regarding to the source text, he can contact your professionals directly, too, immediately eliminating any obstacles preventing him to deliver you a high quality translation.
Translation agencies are powerhouses of exploitation. Every year there are less and translation agencies treating their subcontractors as human beings. It is a common practice that they build up a huge database of translators and they make sophisticated online platforms and IT systems to automatically notify their translators about each potential assignment. The ultimately goal is to make translators fight for each and every job. At the end, almost invariably, the one offering the lowest fee is assigned the project. Of course, this cost saving will not be reflected on the amount the agency is charging you. Instead, this rat race will have its toll on the quality of translated text you receive for your money. Bottom line is, if they pay beans they get monkeys – and if they do, you do, too.
You can save about 50% if you eliminate the middlemen from the process. This is just simple, basic economics. If you need explanation to understand this, please stop reading this article now.
When you send out a document to an agency, you will never know about how it will be treated. While agencies always have them translators sign some kind of silly Non-disclosure Agreement, they are unable to enforce it, since they need to make the documents available for the translator. The problem is that you never know who is the actual person looking at your documents. Additionally, it is quite possible that the person translating the document is actually the subcontractor of the subcontractor of your agency, and you have little control over what is happening to your documents. On contrary, when dealing directly with the translator, he will be the only person given access to those documents, which drastically reduces any chance of misuse.
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