How to get translator to research localizations + verify?
Autor de la hebra: Ken Nowak

Ken Nowak
Tailandia
Local time: 04:33
May 16

Quick background:
I'm end client only, i.e. I dont offer any services. I'm new to Proz and looking to hire multiple translators on Proz. I have tried Gengo and OHT but the quality varies widely. From what I understand Proz is a more serious and professional alternative (Would you agree?) I need translations for a lingerie website from English to Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, Russian, French, Danish, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, Italian and Norwegian.

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Quick background:
I'm end client only, i.e. I dont offer any services. I'm new to Proz and looking to hire multiple translators on Proz. I have tried Gengo and OHT but the quality varies widely. From what I understand Proz is a more serious and professional alternative (Would you agree?) I need translations for a lingerie website from English to Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, Russian, French, Danish, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, Italian and Norwegian.

---

I've had repeated issues with translators ignoring instructions or that they guess their way to the translation. It's impossible for me to verify for most languages and I have no idea if the translator is doing their job. I always explain and ask the translator to research (since it's localization) but I've been burnt again and again.

The translations can be quite quirky as there are not always obvious translations. For example "chemise", "nightshirt" and "nighty" are quite similar product types but there might be no distinction between them in other languages. In these situation I need the translator to research and choose the best alternative. I also need modern translations and not "technically correct".

I am sure lingerie is not the only niche that has this problem.

I need large scale translation (we have 5000+ products) to the languages above but I don't feel like I have the situation under control.

What is the best approach to solve this? How do I explain to the translator? Is there a specific name for the service of "research + localization + verification"?
I was thinking of hiring an agency but I have no idea if they will actually add any value/quality. For all I know, the could just be outsourcing to freelancers and not do any quality control.

I apologize if the answers are obvious. I'm new to this.
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Sofia Aldazabal Wood
Dayana González Sanchidrián
 

Tom in London
Reino Unido
Local time: 22:33
Miembro 2008
italiano al inglés
Try me May 16

Ken Nowak wrote:

What is the best approach to solve this? .


I can't help you to weed out incompetent, unprofessional translators but for the Italian, try me.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:33
Miembro
chino al inglés
+ ...
. May 16

How to get translator to research localizations + verify?

Well, the direct answer is "Ask them"...

You have a better chance of getting good quality if you:
1. Use ProZ's search system to look for translators with strong track records
2. Pay your translators well and give them a reasonable amount of time
3. Give them the impression that you care about quality
4. Repeat 1-3 with a proofreader

That said, you can only ever minimize your risk, not eliminate it - just like you cannot ever eliminate the possibility that your lawyer takes your money then totally mails it in.


Claudia Leão
Philippe Etienne
Laura Kingdon
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Jorge Payan
 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Federación Rusa
Local time: 00:33
inglés al ruso
Can help you with English to Russian May 16

Ken Nowak wrote:
"research + localization + verification"

This is an obvious work pattern for a good translator. (The problem is in finding such translators.)
Ken Nowak wrote:How do I explain to the translator?

You don't need to explain this to translators. If you do, you have chosen wrong translators.


Dayana González Sanchidrián
Claudia Leão
neilmac
Teresa Borges
Fatine777
Dan Lucas
Philippe Etienne
 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Federación Rusa
Local time: 00:33
inglés al ruso
How do I get track records? May 16

Lincoln Hui wrote:
...look for translators with strong track records

I don't have any track records on proz.com at all and I have no idea how to get them... Do they appear from nowhere?


 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 17:33
Miembro
español al inglés
+ ...
WWA Samples May 16

Stepan Konev wrote:

I don't have any track records on proz.com at all and I have no idea how to get them... Do they appear from nowhere?


Use your profile to: ask your clients to give you a recommendation in the WWA section; provide samples of your work in that area; list names of companies you have worked with involving the subject in question; and give the number of words translated in the requested field.


Stepan Konev
Dayana González Sanchidrián
Claudia Leão
 

Sofia Aldazabal Wood
Reino Unido
Local time: 22:33
inglés al español
+ ...
English-Spanish May 16

You have to have a good look at the possible candidates, maybe ask some questions, ask them for references, experience, etc.
I am an English-Spanish translator with experience in products description and I am highly aware of the differences in my own mother tongue in relation to localisation. It is not the same in Argentina, Spain or Mexico. And research is a really interesting part of my job, those little challenges that makes us love our translation work.
If you want to contact me
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You have to have a good look at the possible candidates, maybe ask some questions, ask them for references, experience, etc.
I am an English-Spanish translator with experience in products description and I am highly aware of the differences in my own mother tongue in relation to localisation. It is not the same in Argentina, Spain or Mexico. And research is a really interesting part of my job, those little challenges that makes us love our translation work.
If you want to contact me about your project, please email me (see my email in my profile)
Thank you.

Kind regards,

Sofia Aldazabal Wood MA

[Edited at 2020-05-16 22:39 GMT]
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Ken Nowak
Tailandia
Local time: 04:33
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Is "localization" the correct term? May 17

Is "localization" the correct term?

 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Alemania
Local time: 23:33
Miembro 2016
inglés al alemán
You need a professional approach May 17

Ken, the platforms you mentioned assign translation projects more or less randomly from a large pool of translators. The main offering of these platforms is speed. That might be very useful for speed-critical translations (for example news alerts, emails and such) but in a larger-scale translation/localisation project, you have other priorities, for example continuity, consistency, or terminology.

The professional approach for your project would be to create fixed teams of at least
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Ken, the platforms you mentioned assign translation projects more or less randomly from a large pool of translators. The main offering of these platforms is speed. That might be very useful for speed-critical translations (for example news alerts, emails and such) but in a larger-scale translation/localisation project, you have other priorities, for example continuity, consistency, or terminology.

The professional approach for your project would be to create fixed teams of at least two translators for every target language. These translators should be familiar with website translations as well as your lingerie subject matter (and no, I won't apply, fashion is not my forté...). Two translators means that one can always review the translations of the other (but they can switch roles, of course). The teams should then start with creating a style guide and a basic glossary/terminology list which can be refined and developed further in the course of the actual translation work. It would also make a lot of sense to decide on a CAT tool all those teams should use. On Proz, you can create a job posting for your target languages and find professionals to do this work.

Doing all that yourself will be a lot of management effort, so you could go to a professional translation agency (also called language service provider) that offers all the target languages you need and can manage the complete project for you. Of course, this comes at a price. You could look out for agencies who have a track record doing website localisations for similar businesses. Keep in mind that you want to sell products to target audiences in foreign countries. Doing that in an amateur fashion will lose you money, so paying more for professional work is probably the more profitable alternative.

"Localisation" is probably a slightly better term for your project, since you not only need to have your content translated, but sometimes also adapted to the respective audience (for example sizes, measurements, but also local fashion peculiarities). Make sure that the scope of the project is exactly clear from the start, so that the contractors know what to do and what not.
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Teresa Borges
Sheila Wilson
Stepan Konev
Laura Kingdon
Sara Massons
Marijaflora
Mina Chen
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 22:33
Miembro 2007
inglés
+ ...
Localisation / transcreation May 17

Both are quite new terms and there's a lot of overlap and also misunderstanding. So make sure you spell out what's needed.

Search for a boutique agency, a specialist in textiles, fashion or lingerie, or even marketing texts, one that will guarantee to contract freelance translators (minimum 2 per language as suggested above) for your projects rather than handing the job to another agency. Intermediate levels add overheads and can obstruct clear communication. However, a reputable a
... See more
Both are quite new terms and there's a lot of overlap and also misunderstanding. So make sure you spell out what's needed.

Search for a boutique agency, a specialist in textiles, fashion or lingerie, or even marketing texts, one that will guarantee to contract freelance translators (minimum 2 per language as suggested above) for your projects rather than handing the job to another agency. Intermediate levels add overheads and can obstruct clear communication. However, a reputable agency might be a better solution than you contacting translators directly as they should have tried and trusted specialist translators on their books.
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Sara Massons
 

Marijaflora
Australia
Localization May 22

Would you mind providing an example of what you mean by the modern translation differing from the "technically correct" translation?
What makes you convinced that the translator is not translating correctly by using the technically correct translation?
Ie: did you have the website checked afterwards by a native speaker of the target language and it "read funny" etc or what gave you the impression there was something wrong with it?

I personally believe you will get the re
... See more
Would you mind providing an example of what you mean by the modern translation differing from the "technically correct" translation?
What makes you convinced that the translator is not translating correctly by using the technically correct translation?
Ie: did you have the website checked afterwards by a native speaker of the target language and it "read funny" etc or what gave you the impression there was something wrong with it?

I personally believe you will get the results you are after by strongly emphasising on the web research part in your job descriptions.
Perhaps try stating that you are not only after a translator but after someone diligent and committed that is willing to spend many hours- even days if necessary- to do web research.

Honestly though, time is money and this means setting aside a much larger budget to pay the Translator as in essence they are providing a much more detailed and thorough service.
Bluntly, if you are attempting to get quality work through a budget translation service or are unreasonable and expecting the work to be done in next to no time, then you may be sadly disappointed.
Decent pay, patience, accommodating and reasonable mindset, and very clear job description and instructions will help, imo.


[Edited at 2020-05-22 18:24 GMT]
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Jorge Payan
Sheila Wilson
neilmac
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Katrin Braams  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 23:33
Miembro 2018
inglés al alemán
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Don’t go for the cheapest offer May 23

One approach is not to go for the cheapest offer. A translator residing in a first world country who gets paid 0.05€/word can’t do much research, he or she has to translate as fast as possible to achieve a sustainable hourly rate without working themselves to death.

Also, a translator who provides you with a quote without having asked to see the source material usually is not very experienced.

Proz profiles with ratings and Kudoz points are another indication of a t
... See more
One approach is not to go for the cheapest offer. A translator residing in a first world country who gets paid 0.05€/word can’t do much research, he or she has to translate as fast as possible to achieve a sustainable hourly rate without working themselves to death.

Also, a translator who provides you with a quote without having asked to see the source material usually is not very experienced.

Proz profiles with ratings and Kudoz points are another indication of a translator’s seriousness.

A test tells more than references and certificates. Take an excerpt of up to 300 words from a previously approved translation (preferably one which cannot be found online, but you will find that some translators don’t even bother to do such basic research) and let potential candidates translate them. Evaluation has to be done by native speakers you trust (if you are on good terms with the client they might be willing to take over that part).

Be prepared to answer questions during the translation process. There is nothing worse for a translator than a client who is unapproachable and never replies to a Q&A.

Another point you should keep an eye on is the quality of your source texts. Texts written in a bad, hardly understandable language will inevitably lead to translators having to resort to best guesses.

Since you need translations into many languages I suggest not to handle it by yourself, but look for a very reputable boutique translation agency that can provide all the languages you need and manage the translators for you. They will also make sure that translation memories are created and maintained. This will ensure consistency, even when translators change.

Good luck!
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Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Michele Fauble
Fatine777
 

Ken Nowak
Tailandia
Local time: 04:33
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Examples of "technically correct" Jun 30

Marijaflora wrote:

Would you mind providing an example of what you mean by the modern translation differing from the "technically correct" translation?


Examples:

German:
"[Bra] cup" in German is "Körbchen" but there is a tendency to use the English word "cup" and then actually with capital C, "Cup", as German nouns are capitalized. I don't know which is the most current way, I just know both exist. So, while "Körbchen" is technically the most correct, "Cup" might be the more modern and nowadays more widely used term.

Norwegian has identical situation.

Swedish:
"Chemise" have no precise translation so "chemise" _seems_ to be accepted, but technically (from what I see) "åtsittande nattlinne" (meaning "fitted/tight nighty/nightshirt") seems more correct.

Polish:
"Bra" is translated "biustonosz" but "stanik" is also acceptable but it seems to be used less and less.

Thai:
"Dress" can be translated in eight (!) ways. Some are more general than others. (A better examples for thai is t


The above are languages that I know (German just a bit) but it's clear to me that these quirks are problematic. Therefore, I need to localizations to make sense for clients

[Edited at 2020-06-30 05:32 GMT]


 

Ken Nowak
Tailandia
Local time: 04:33
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Agency recommendation? Jun 30

Several of you recommend an agency. Any recommendation of specific agencies?

A summarization of your recommendation for an agency is:
- Must have at least 2 in-house translators in each language, so that they don't just blindly outsource.
- Should/Must be experienced in the textile/apparel/lingerie niche.
- Must be willing to and experienced in researching.

In addition, I need to be willing to pay for quality or have my sales suffer.

PS. I
... See more
Several of you recommend an agency. Any recommendation of specific agencies?

A summarization of your recommendation for an agency is:
- Must have at least 2 in-house translators in each language, so that they don't just blindly outsource.
- Should/Must be experienced in the textile/apparel/lingerie niche.
- Must be willing to and experienced in researching.

In addition, I need to be willing to pay for quality or have my sales suffer.

PS. I greatly appreciate your input.
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