The advantages of a small agency (2)

At Fairtrad, we know each and every one of our translators.

We know off by heart who is more gifted in promotional writing and who is an ace at technical or financial translation. We also know each translator’s flaws, which helps us to adapt projects to customers AND translators.

We only have one contact person between the customer and linguists; information is transparent and relayed immediately. The customer knows from the very outset how the project will be managed and he or she accepts the delivery conditions knowingly. Will it require working the weekend, working overnight, several translators on the job? What will be the consequence on cost and quality? Is the linguist assigned to this customer available to work on the project?  How can we better organise together next time round? What is this translation’s final destination? Is it for informational purposes, internal communication or publication?

We take the time to explain and reply to everyone, and we don’t think that the customer will be offended if we ask questions to better understand the text and his or her expectations. Normally, the text to be translated is also returned to the customer corrected because we are committed to noting any errors, incoherencies or misprints, and bringing them to attention. We care about our customer’s image, and when you care, you point out any shortcomings so that a person can improve. Personally, when a project includes one of my language combinations, I translate some of the documents myself: this allows me to build up a glossary and get a feel for the style, difficulties, time required and important details. I proofread everything a third time. I know the customer’s story, terminology and style of communication off by heart.

Fairtrad is a small agency. We have fewer customers than a large agency, but we have the time to give them special treatment.