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Three useful comments regarding translation services

An article in Asian Counsel, Vol. 17, May 2009 at 23, by TranslateMedia’s Rupert Evans offers good advice regarding transation services.

  1. Look to see whether a translation agency is a member of the ATA (the American Translators Association) or the ATC (Association of Translation Companies). If they are members, they have been around for a few years and represent that they abide by the code of practice of the association.
  2. Look for whether the agency is accredited under ISO: 9001 and the special translation standard BS EN:15038. Those accreditations mean that the agency has been externally audited and demonstrated a satisfactory standard of information management and internal procedures.
  3. Don’t fall for claims of rapid translation. According to Evans, few good translators can do more than 4,000 words per day and many good ones are significantly slower.

Translation costs, especially for patents and international litigation, can be significant for legal departments (See my post of Feb. 9, 2006: translation software for non-English speaking lawyers; March 23, 2007: patent translation costs; March 23, 2007: advances in machine translation; Feb. 6, 2008: Brazilian matter management system translates many languages; June 4, 2008: IBM’s real-time translation service; Feb. 13, 2009 #1: savings in discovery from translation skills; and March 1, 2009: a translation service applied to this blog and blogger.).