In the global economy, wherein we are now all interconnected, language can be a barrier to growth. Be it in business, advertising, information, or research, in order to be able to complete in this new digital age it is important not to be limited by language.
Let’s face it, most automated translation software solutions fail to deliver accurate translations and to use them for business purposes is not merely embarrassing but can also be excruciatingly humiliating. It could even cause major harm to your company’s credibility. The world wide web, as we are all aware of, is full of dubious services that could somehow damage your company and ensuring that your translation team is on track is extremely vital. One good example where this could have kept a bad scenario from happening was an incident where the Federal Trade Commission was called in because one said translation service had leaked vital and private information into the internet. The said company assigned the translation files to independent translators who then leaked the sensitive information. After the intervention of the Federal Trade Commission, the translation service was then required to pay out a settlement to the former client. This ugly mishap could have potentially been prevented with time tracking software. So regardless of your translation project, it is important to find a reputable company that still fits your budgetary needs yet has a fast turnaround time.
Another common trend that companies and individuals who require translation services have to account for is that the marketplace is continually changing even as you are reading this article (really, right now!). In the past we had to rely on agencies and companies to do our transcription or translation for us. As the global market now stands, business process outsourcing (BPO) is readily available to any of us who simply know where to look, such as these great places, India, Philippines, Eastern Europe and many more!
The traditional way of getting things translated is through agencies. Once you negotiate a price with them, they will dispatch the job to their own translators. Usually you will have a long term relationship with an agency and you are contractually bound to it for your future translation needs. It can work pretty well if the agency provides good quality of work, as account managers can take busy work and save you time with communications. But usually it is rather expensive, especially if your volume is small and need is ad-hoc. There are millions of qualified translators around the world (native speakers!) that can help you translate and are willing to do so at a much lower price though. However, it is hard to find them or the cost and time to find them will offset any saving you can get for the real translation job. That is why a new breed of online on-demand translation services has become popular.
Online freelance services in general mean you can use them as little or as much as you would like, allowing you to scale your needs exactly to your supply. Typically with on demand translation, you can easily review your potential translators previous work history from prior clients. This information is normally in the form of an easy to follow rating system with basic comments of past history. Please place much credence on this area and be sure you intimately review these prior comments and reviews, as it’s easy to be allured by the low cost of a worldwide distributed network (just don’t lose focus of quality). I think these larger networks create a more level playing field for all service providers, so just be sure to do your due diligence. Another benefit aside from reading past reviews is that you instantly have access to potentially thousands of translators, who you can utilize to drill down into the exact one(s) that you are seeking related to language, tone, or communication…all nuances are that extremely important in a successful translation campaign. As though you can connect to translators all over the world, you’ll have to now raise your exclusion criteria as well, so as to save time on your selection process. If not, you’d be wading through hundreds of potential people that would want to work with you.
SpeakWrite.com is a veteran of the transcription business, with 16 years in the industry. This company uses a network of professional US and Canada based typists along with SpeakWrite’s dictation App. Their pool of employees are paid half a cent for every transcribed word and this could sound small but this equals to getting paid around $12 to $15 for every hour. They’ve catered to law firms, law enforcement operation, state government agencies, insurance companies and a variety of other industries. They operate 24/7 with no hidden charges and a pay as you go pricing plan that guarantees fair pricing.
A company that offers transcription as well as translation services, Verbal Ink has been in the industry since 2003. They guarantee 98% transcription accuracy percentage, as well as translation services for 20 languages. Verbal Ink transcriptions are performed solely in the United States while translators are sourced from other countries as the need arises. When it comes to paying wages, Verbal Ink could be said to be unique. This company pays living wages to their network of transcriptionists and translations. Not only does this make the company feel good, this guarantees an accurate transcription as well as faithful translation.
Although VerbalizeIt employs workers outside of the U.S., only 10% of those who pass their proprietary exam are allowed to transcribe and translate for them. This allows for a lower cost yet accurate transcription of translation jobs with a 24 to 48 hour turnaround time. Plus they have a quality screening for every finished article that further ensures their clients are happy. VerbalizeIt charges 17 cents per word of translation and $14 for every minute of transcription and if you want a phone call transcribed, that’s around $1.75 for every minute of your call.
If you’re looking for a vendor that offers transcription and translation services with a twist, then Rev.com is the one for you. This site relies on handpicked freelancers who are paid 40 to 60 cents for every audio minute they do. In addition, if the quality of their job is great, they stand to get a bonus. Some of their transcribers have been seen to earn as high as $10 an hour. Their pricing starts at $1 per minute for Audio Transcription and 10 cents per word Business Translation. As for certified translations, a flat rate of $27 per page (250 words max) is charged. They also rely on proprietary software that aids their employees to give you accurate transcriptions. This San Francisco based company aims at offering the most cutting edge transcription technology that is available on the market today.
Aside from professional translation, Textmaster.com offers web content writing, proofreading and content marketing by native speakers across the globe. This company has thousands of freelancers that is why you can be assured that they are available anytime of the day to create high quality content. Each project can be delivered through your preferred method. They have created a flexible pricing plan that starts at $0.039 per word for translation, $0.026 per word for copy writing and $0.020 per word for translation services. Textmaster has a very wide range of services that are available in more than 15 languages to over 50 countries worldwide.
If you want your files to be worked on within minutes, then Gengo.com is a great choice. Gengo uses their website or API to easily translate text or files. With the help of thousands of their qualified translators using simple web tools, you can be assured that quality is always prioritized. Since 2012, they have translated over 200 million words with 99.95% customer approval rate. Gengo uses a consistent per-word pricing method starting from $0.75 for a tweet (15 words), $7.5 for an email (150 words), $12.5 for a letter (250 words), $100 for an app (2,000 words) and $500 for a whole website (10,000 words).
Unbabel is an online translation company and community that uses a machine based learning technology combined with crowd sourced editing to deliver quality translation. You can send your content through email, online order or through its API, then Unbabel automatically translates them and are turned over to its community of editors to be seamlessly edited and refined. Backed by Y-combinator, the company was launched last March. It is seemingly growing at a rapid clip of 15% a week in sales and has just secured a round venture funding. With over 500,000 words translated and more than 8,000 editors, Unbabel allows translators to cash out anytime through Paypal. Pricing starts at $0.02 per word, $1 for 50 words, $3 for 150 words and $5 for 250 words. Discounts are also given to bulk orders.
So whether you’re looking to keep track of your translation team or whether you’re looking for a quick fix for your translation needs, these are some sites you might consider. They all guarantee an accuracy rate of 98% or better with a turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours.
Photo Credits: Kenneth Lu and Jono Martin from Flickr
FYI, Gengo just passed 200 million words translated. http://blog.gengo.com/open-data/ for more.
very useful information.