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By Paul Rizo-Brewington

Quality Standards are beneficial for language professionals, translators and service providers in various ways. They set a minimum efficiency of output that is expected from each different job type. In the beginning when translation started to boom in the 90s, the average consumer had a certain idea in mind of what kind of content they would receive. Language professionals, translators and service providers had a separate idea and when the final product was done, both parties were made aware of the miscommunication. Language service providers and professionals probably assumed that they could get away with not the most professional of interactions with the client or even not the best quality of content in their translation, as any new industry would face. Consumers of language services walked into the agreement with a blind eye because they don’t have a working knowledge of the language they need translation for or how the process is supposed to go since it’s new.

Quality Standards changes all of this. It sets a precedent and a clear expectation of what is to come from any type of language service professional. This means that the client will consistently be happy since they are aware of exactly what they are getting. Furthermore, if the finished product is not up to this standard then there is a sense of responsibility and repercussion to be undertaken if such should happen. Previously, a client may have felt swindled if they received a translation that was subpar or were part of a process with an unprofessional agency. This creates a sense of distrust with the client which can spiral out of control. The client may detest or speak ill of translation which decreases prospective clients for translation professionals. Then, let’s agree that the swindled client in question is a business owner and needs a translation to appeal his/her services to a popular speech community in his/her area. Now the person in question also is losing potential clients and it becomes a vicious circle.

With quality standards being set in place, all of this is avoided and everyone wins. Clients are satisfied with their interactions in the language service world and language service providers are expected to put forth their best effort and or be held accountable when the aforementioned isn’t the case. Clients will feel inclined to repeat service with the language service industry because they feel safe and valued as a client. Also, they may refer friends, colleagues or family members to go to language service professionals since they have a trust that the job they need can be completed. This creates a bigger client base for the language service industry and creates a more healthy and beneficial cycle. Secondly, this leads the general public away from computer assisted translation which is and may still always be an unstable endeavor.

Another area that may not be as discernable but is also another end result of quality standards is growth. Growth is one of the most fulfilling things in life but also is a key aspect in business and entrepreneurship. People feel satisfied and gain a sense of passion when they feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. It’s a wonderful feeling to see tangible growth in a company or one’s own abilities and quality standards is something that aids in such. It forces language professionals to consistently work to give every new project the best translation possible for their abilities. Or how to deal with clients properly and respectfully if customer service is an area in which a language professional is lacking. If it’s a company setting, the employees can all see their personal and team growth which can create a greater sense of community within the company.

Quality Standards are inherently globalizing phenomena which are helpful for today’s society. They set the tone for an entire, region, country or even the entire world in terms of translation. Translation is also something inherently global; communicating and interacting with people all around the world from different speech communities. However, this makes one’s client base practically infinite as well as a client’s potential agency base. This is another reason to be at the peak of their performance because language services is a competitive field. Multilingualism is the norm rather than the exception. It’s a growing industry which means day in and day out there is a greater need for language professionals. That means more fish will enter the pond eventually and it will be harder for language professionals to distinguish their service quality from others. But, Quality Standards are just the minimum of what’s expected in the language service world. Some people may want even more and will pay more for higher quality of content for whatever reason. In conclusion, Quality Standards set the tone for excellence for top quality and efficiency amongst the language service world and it only goes up from there.

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By Paul Rizo

Google is the biggest search engine in the United States and a good percentage of Europe as well. Being the top ranked result on Google is inexplicably beneficial for translators or multilingual writers for obvious reasons; exposure. Now the United States and Europe don’t have as big a population as Asia but they do have a lot of influence on media consummation on a global scale. So being top ranked on Google helps a lot for opportunities in getting clients as a writer or translator. Now, one may ask: why can’t you just be on any page of Google and have the same result? The answer is simple: academic research has indicated that 91% of people do not go past page one in a Google search and 50% don’t go past the first 3 results. As one can see, it is almost imperative to be the top result on Google. For translators and other language professionals being top ranked in Google is a double whammy because of their global presence.

Say someone is looking for a translator in a language that happens to be one of the pairs you’re apart of. If you’re the top search result for Italian to English in the United States, then most likely the same will apply to Italy or any other country where translation services are being searched for in your language pair. For the language pairs I work in, I can see many advantages. English is one of my native languages and a common second language that people acquire on a global scale. For example, the UN has most of their spoken dialogue and other oral presentations done in English. The same can be said about documentation of all types being translated into English. Spanish, my second native language, is increasingly becoming one of the most popular spoken languages in the world with large parts of the Caribbean, all of South America, Spain and many people in the United States being native speakers or choosing it as a second language. Italian and French have some use but they aren’t necessarily popular. Portuguese is very useful as it has a decent number of speakers across three continents and is one of the seven most commonly used languages in terms of mass translation for documentation. Lastly, one of my favorite languages and another popular one is Arabic. The Middle East is on the rise as a national power and is a huge hub for commerce and trade, so knowing Arabic will increasingly become a huge benefit for companies.

 

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