Choosing Your Translation Agency This Year

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Happy New Year! We can hardly believe it’s the year 2018 – but what a year 2017 was. Sometimes joyous and sometimes tragic, 2017 was full of surprises. As we look forward to a brand new year, we wonder what surprises are in store – and hope to surprise you with our exceptional translations.

If you’re choosing a translation agency for your year ahead, we’ve got a few special attributes that set us apart; but what should you generally look for and avoid when deciding which translation agency to go with?

What Makes a Good Translation Agency?

Ultimately, the main benefit of using a translation agency is that it saves time. And as the old saying goes – time is money. A good translation agency is one that makes a return on your investment. We’re not just talking about cost though; when you pay a translation agency, you’re paying for their knowledge, customer service levels, turnaround times and the translated works themselves.

The cheapest translation agency or freelancer might look good on paper, but what if that initial money saved costs more time down the road? Even if the quality of translation is high, but turnaround times and customer service are poor – you could end up paying a higher price once your time is taken into consideration.

A good translation agency is one that returns on your investment. You’ll get good work, on time and on budget.

But a great translation agency gives much more. A great agency is trustworthy and effective to the point where you can let them work autonomously on your behalf – from source material and minimal prompting, you’ll get results you’ll be proud to put your name to.

A great agency becomes an extension of your team, building your trust, getting to know your needs inside out before a single word is written.

What to Look for in a Professional Translation Agency

We’ve already established that trustworthiness makes for an amazing translation agency. Look for references and client feedback – they’re good indicators of trustworthiness and can help sort the good from the bad.

Make sure the agency can work in your source and target languages – it might seem obvious, but it does get overlooked.

First impressions count! Make sure your initial contact is favourable. The best way to know what kind of operation you’re dealing with is to give them a call and talk about your needs. If they listen to your needs, outline a plan of action and make a good offer, chances are you’ve found yourself a good agency.

What to Be Cautious of When Choosing a Translation Agency

Look out for agencies that don’t have a structured process in place – like a contract or a schedule of work. You need to keep track of what’s being done, by when and how much it will cost. Without a clear record of work, you can only expect the unexpected!

Avoid using translation software and agencies that rely on it. Artificial intelligence might be coming on leaps and bounds, but it’s not here yet. Even the most advanced computer translators are unable to make sense of large bodies of text. Machines don’t grasp context, humour, tone of voice, metaphor or symbolism.

Generally, they can operate on one word or phrase at a time. Anyone who can remember translating their foreign languages homework one word at a time will also remember how painfully slow (and woefully nonsensical) it ended up being. Human language is one of the hardest things for machines to figure out, and a perfect AI translator may still be decades away.

Look out for “spinning” – it’s cheap, but usually extremely low quality text that has been made from similar material and modified slightly to seem original. Such text is almost always an impossible mess to understand, and some agencies will just hope you don’t know the language well enough to notice.

At Kwintessential, we don’t take part in any shady shenanigans and we don’t cut any corners. The work we do is trustworthy, accurate and on time – every time!

Make Kwintessential Your Translation Agency

Looking for a professional translation agency? Contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at

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Contact us now for your translation needs, and we promise to respond within an hour. Call us on 01460 279900 or send us a message to get started.

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