Thursday, 23 July 2020

How translation agencies assess industry knowledge and experience

Nordic-Baltic translation agency Baltic Media

Translators with all levels of experience have a place in this industry, though most vendors look for at least two years of proven work. Though the more years the better, translators with less experience aren’t in any less demand, as they generally work for slightly lower fees, making them desired commodities. Novice translators may be great at providing machine translation post-editing, while a veteran may be more apt for literary translations.

The bottom line for many agencies is that the translator should have at least 500,000 translated words during the course of their translation career.

A good translation background is only one side of the token. Vendors also look for valuable and hands-on industry experience in their field of specialization. This will ensure that delivered texts are more contextually appropriate and not written about in theory or only based on research. Those who lack that insider knowledge should make an effort to take part in webinars, read articles, master the jargon, and keep their knowledge up to speed.

A language service provider that focuses heavily on software, app and game localization may require the translator to play the game in question prior to translation. As a result, those who are not necessarily specialists are immersed in the product in order to provide the best texts. IT translators must be very knowledgeable about the topic to even qualify to do translations in this sector.

Vendors will also ask for examples of past translation work, references and a short CV with the most crucial information. They examine the translator’s portfolio carefully to ensure they fit the bill.

Computer skills: why linguistic affinity is not enough

In addition to translation and industry experience, technology plays a huge role. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, cloud platforms, tools for editing files in different encodings and machine translation software are a central part of the work. This is why translation companies usually ask for experience with more than one of these tools. In addition, the localization ofwebsites, software, apps and games often require advanced IT and developer knowledge by both the translator and the translation agency.

Educational background

Do translation agencies prefer a university degree and other types of certification?

Education is a big part of a translator’s success and having the right set of credentials is important to recruiters. Without vocational training, aspiring translators may find it hard to land jobs.

However, there are many cases where people have worked years within a specific industry, like in medicine or marketing, who transition to translation by learning the trade through various online translation courses. Next, they apply for a translator certification from a recognized association.

At many language service providers, both university-trained and industry specialists are accepted. Successful translation agencies tend to only work with native speakers who translate into their mother tongue. They must also be fluent in the source languages.

How do translation agencies test freelancers?

There are two parts of the testing process: the actual translation test itself and questions about methodology and technology used by the candidate. Translation agencies may will ask the translator to complete the test within a cloud platform such as Crowdin. The quality of the test determines the hiring (or not) of the candidate. The best practice is to use a translation quality assessment to grade tests.

The Translation Quality Index is a quality assessment model originally created by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), and it is based on quantitative assessment. Errors are divided into categories; each error is weighted. The weighted total number of errors is then subtracted from 100.

Usually translators are not interviewed, unless for an in-house position. The questions are therefore asked in the translation test. Some questions that a hiring or localization manager will ask are:

● How did you localize the content into your target language? What cultural and
situational elements did you consider?
● How long did it take to complete the translation?
● Which tools/dictionaries did they use to do the translation?
● Do they have any relevant comments regarding the texts or a section of the
text/word that they found difficult to translate?

How to test creativity and writing skills

In the case of transcreators or copywriters, and for certain types of translations, vendors also need to test the creative writing skills that a translator would have. They would need to take an original text and ensure that the target text they are creating is highly localized and readable for the target audience. Sometimes a lot of imagination goes into this type of work — like in order to convey humor.

Translation recruiting platforms

Many large translation agencies use platforms such as SmartCat to manage freelance talent. This slightly less personal approach is due to the fact that companies of large size simply cannot handle the sea of freelance applications.

There are small or medium-sized agencies that are able to apply a more personalized and human approach. They have added confidence in their translators, who in turn lend a hand in promoting optimal quality assurance. The translation agency can find and assign the right translators to the right tasks based on individual expertise.

Source: Multilingual 

Friday, 10 July 2020

Slator: Stripe Says Lack of Translation Most Common Error in European E-commerce


Online payment portal Stripe (which also powers Slator’s e-commerce store) found the lack of translation to be the most common error during customer checkout at the top 450 European e-commerce websites.

The San Francisco-based company, which made headlines in mid-April for being Silicon Valley’s most valuable startup as consumer purchases moved online amid the Covid-19 pandemic, released new research that uncovered three basic errors in the top e-commerce websites of the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Sweden.

The study, entitled The State of European Checkouts in 2020, showed that more than half (58%) of customer checkouts “had at least three basic errors, adding unnecessary friction for customers and complicating the checkout process.” The research went on to show that 9 in 10 lost sales in Europe came from failures on the checkout page.

The most common error: 74% of checkouts did not have local language translations when customers located elsewhere in Europe tried to make a purchase, and failed to offer the most relevant payment options for international customers.

(The other errors: 42% of Europe’s e-commerce sites did not auto-verify the card number as it was entered and 45% did not confirm the card type when the card number was entered.)

Among the 74% of checkouts that were not translated into local languages, “Spanish checkouts were the least likely to be localized for other European markets,” according to Stripe. In fact, none of the Spanish checkouts Stripe analyzed were translated into a local language at all during checkout.

“Not translating your checkout [into] the language of yourcustomers […] could cut off entire countries from your addressable market, leading to lost sales” — The State of European Checkouts in 2020 by Stripe

The most likely to be translated into other languages were checkouts in the Netherlands; although these lacked local payment options, the study said.

Highlighting the importance of localization in e-commerce websites, Stripe said, “Not translating your checkout [into] the language of your customers […] could cut off entire countries from your addressable market, leading to lost sales.”

To localize the checkout experience, Stripe recommends that, first, websites identify the top countries into which they want to sell, and then localize the experience by translating the checkout page. 

Other recommendations include changing the fields to capture the right information per country (e.g., dynamically adding a field for postal/zip code, depending on where the customer’s credit card originates) and dynamically surfacing the correct payment option during checkout based on where a customer is located.

Source: Slator 

 Translation of webpages and e-commerce sites