Business Support

Working With A Translation Agency


London is a very specific place. It is perhaps the most multicultural city on planet, with people from,quite literally, every corner of the world. As a result, it is sometimes easier to hear a foreign language than English while walking on the street.

Interestingly, a study from 2014 shows that almost half of people in the UK are able to speak more than one language. As you can imagine, in such a fast-paced and multicultural environment, the demand for language and translation services in UKis extremely high.

A number of people who are able to speak another language fluently, become professional translators and work with or for companies specialising in language translations. Typically, a UK translation agency has very strict recruitment policies in place. In fact, just being able to speak another language, even fluently, does not necessarily mean that a person can legally translate documents. Here are some factors which agencies take into account when recruiting translators:


  1. Experience

Translating is very much like anything else you do in life; the longer you do it, the better you get at it. Majority of professional translators become more proficient, effective and accurate with time. Sadly, an inexperienced translator, even if extremely talented, but who perhaps just started working in the industry, will sooner or later come across situations where talent simply isn’t enough and therefore a much deeper knowledge and understanding of a specific subject may be essential for a precise translation. Translation agencies know this and so they tend to work with translators with at least 3 years of experience in the industry.

  1. Speciality

Translating a legal, marketing documents or a user’s manual for a new device can be completely different than translating for example, a birth certificate. Translation agencies prefer to work with language interpreters and translators who specialise in a particular field, as this guarantees higher accuracy and reliability. Understanding particular lingo and jargon which is specific for a given sector is a very important factor for the agencies. A conversation between two doctors who use medical terms will be completely different to a conversation between two lawyers or marketing professionals, and a good translator will be able to distinguish these differences correctly.


  1. Endorsements

Translation agencies take a lot of responsibility on their shoulders for translating official documents and projects. For that reason, they choose people who they work with very, very carefully. If a particular agency has not worked with a translator previously, the translation company will certainly make sure that the person is suitable for a given project. Being a member of such organisations as the Chartered institute for linguists or Proz.com will certainly increase translator’s chances of being preferred by the agencies. These organisations are specialisedtranslation bodies in the UK for language professionals which set and maintain high standards of entry, therefore giving the agencies extra reassurance.


  1. Reliability

Reliability plays a vital part in recruitment process of a translation agency. In a number of cases, for example the legal sector, delivering translated documents on or before the agreed deadline is nothing short of fundamental. Translation agencies fully understand the importance of their services in the bigger picture and therefore being a reliable, punctual and, at the same time, accurate translator can take you a long way in this industry.


  1. Reference

Being able to provide reference from your previous employments, jobs or projects you’ve worked on can sometimes make the difference between getting the assignment or not, especially if a translator hasn’t worked with a particular agency before. Do not be surprised if the translation agency asks to see your CV or a short, free translation sample before assigning you the task.


Becoming a successful translator is no easy task. A number of factors must be taken into the account and each of these factors can influence your chances with a translation agency greatly. As you can now hopefully see, being a professional translator is much more than just translating documents word for word. Top translators in the industry spend many years developing their skill and knowledge, which later they share with each project they undertake.

Many translators also specialise in a certain field, whether it’s marketing, legal, medical or technical translations. In such cases, they become a ‘go-to’ translators for agencies when an appropriate project arises, and if that’s the case, translators qualified in such way can charge more accordingly, not only for their language knowledge, but also for understating of a specific industry.

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