Our big base of talented translators, terminologists and editors specialized in their fields, and years-long experience ensure high-quality translations in various subject fields. We perform translations into 40 languages in different fields of specialization. The most frequent translation areas are law, economy, technology, medicine, advertising, EU, chemistry, information technology, insurance and banking. All our translations are edited and reviewed before delivery.
How to pick a translation bureau? There are so many and with so different prices. What does the price depend on?
The Estonian market is flooded with translation bureaus and the competition is immense, which should be good for the clients, on the one hand, but on the other, clients have not been explained that these bureaus offer services with very different quality. Since there are no great entrance barriers in this business, nor is it regulated by legislation, it is very easy to get started – one only needs a computer and Internet connection.
Then, the entrepreneur needs to find clients and translators, and start mediating work between the two. Most of the translation bureaus registered in Estonia are namely such translation agencies. They lack an overview of the translators’ level or work quality and language proficiency.
In our experience, only 20–25% of those that submit a test work have sufficient skills, and the remaining 75% do not have sufficient language skills to do this work. At the same time, it can be seen from the CVs of these translators that they have already translated for other translation agencies for years. Unfortunately, this is a proof of the general level of many translation bureaus.
Another group is a company of friends with less than five employees that have broadened their scale slightly compared to a single translator and gathered a few translators in one company. On occasion, they may read each other’s translations (if the client is persistent), but the result is not comparable with the level of experienced editors.
Only a handful of Estonian translation bureaus offer a service than can be called a translation service. In these bureaus, there are editors, terminologists, designers on site, i.e., the whole supporting staff that contribute significant additional value to a translation. At these bureaus, the level of translators and editors is constantly checked, the staff is developed, and the translation quality is improved on a regular basis. Editors are experienced and specialized in different subject fields – this ensures top-end translations.
You are justified to ask, how you should make a difference between these bureaus and select a cooperation partner that provides translations that are edited and reviewed before delivery, not a merely mediated translation. It may not be easy to distinguish bureaus at first sight, but there are some factors to keep in mind.
- When looking for a cooperation partner, choose a company that holds the certificate for the European Quality Standard for Translation Service Providers EN 15038:2006 that sets specific requirements for translation services. If a company holds this certificate, it needs to edit translations and perform delivery review. Let me point out that many bureaus write that they follow the certificate, but that sentence does not guarantee that they do so in reality. Ask them to show the certificate. Avatar Translation Bureau has had the certificate since 2012 already; in addition, we hold the certificate for the European Quality Management Standard ISO 9001:2008. View the certificates!
- Cooperation with various authorities in the European Union shows high quality of translations, because they check all translations, and if the bureau is underperforming, cooperation is terminated rather soon. Avatar Translation Bureau has been successfully cooperating with the European Commission since 2009.
- Landing of public procurements and successfully completed contractual works. Public procurements generally set very high requirements. The executed translations are reviewed and assessed. Avatar Translation Bureau has a staggering 11-year experience in executing public procurements. In 2014 alone, Avatar Translation Bureau landed over ten public procurements. Pursuant to procurement contracts, we translate for the Ministry of Justice, Eesti Pank, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, prosecutor’s office, Eesti Energia, Enterprise Estonia, Information System Authority, Tallinn University of Technology, SEB Pank, Estonian Environment Agency, Centre of Registers and Information Systems, etc.
- The amount of state taxes paid by the company also shows, whether other employees except for the project manager work in the office.
- If the translation bureau operates in a home office, it is probably an agency mediating translations, and generally, these agencies have no overview of the level of translators or the quality of forwarded translations.
- It is impossible to provide a translation service that includes translation, editing and delivery review for a very low price. If you pick a cooperation partner by the cheapest price, then it is likely that you will not receive an edited and reviewed translation.
How do we calculate translation volume?
We calculate the volume of translations, editing and proofreading based on the number of characters in the completed translation. One calculated page includes 1,800 characters including spaces. You can see the number of characters by clicking on Review -> Word count -> Characters (with spaces) in Microsoft Word.
By dividing the total count of characters by 1,800, you will receive the number of source text pages. In translation, however, the volume may increase or decrease. For example, when translating from German into Estonian, the volume usually decreases by 10%; when translating from Estonian into Russian, the volume increases by about 20%. When quoting prices, we already consider the volume difference, so that the price offer would meet the price of the final translation as closely as possible.
Is translation volume the same as the source text volume?
Usually not. Only when translating from English into Estonian, the volume remains the same in most cases. When translating, the volume usually increases. Our experience has shown that texts gain most length when translating from Estonian into Russian, French and German. The volume increases by 10–20% on an average.
How long are translation queues, and how long does translating take?
We have no queues. Our vast translation base enables providing translation services without a queue. We always expect clients to specify project deadlines, so that we can organize work in a way that the translation is ready when the client needs it.
We always try to meet the wishes of a contracting entity, but in general, the work pace of a translator is 5 pages per day, and additional time is needed for editing, terminology check and delivery review, which means that the translation is reviewed by specialized philologists and specialists at the office. This is why it is advisable to keep in mind that even a short translation takes the whole day – becoming acquainted with the text and follow-up activities take time.
If you wish to receive more than 5 pages per day, it is considered express translation, which involves a risk that both we and the contracting entity might not be satisfied with the end result. Therefore, it is advisable to take time for the translation and hand over texts rather earlier than later. Nevertheless, if you are in a hurry, we can also translate 20–30 pages per day.
Can I order a test translation to see, whether your quality is sufficient?
Of course. In case of larger translation projects, you can order a one-page test translation free of charge, in order to see, whether our quality is suitable for your needs. In addition, you can ask for a quote beforehand; we will complete it in 24 hours.
Do you use additional materials when translating?
To achieve the best result, cooperation between the client and translation bureau is very important, because the contracting entity often has a clear vision of the style and terminology of translation. All kinds of additional materials that enable executing the best translation are always welcome. Please share additional materials with us – this enables us executing an excellent translation.
Do you design materials, e.g. user instructions, into the same format as the original instructions?
If you wish, we can design the text the same way as the original, scan drawings and figures, and layout the translation – this is especially practical in case of user instructions and books, where the complete translation actually includes both text and pictures.
Can we conclude a confidentiality agreement, if the materials are secret?
Our company always ensures confidentiality of information in the materials; we have concluded confidentiality agreements with all our employees as well. If you so request, we can also conclude a confidentiality agreement with the contracted entity.