Choosing a Translation Agency: What You Need To Know

Published on May 10, 2019

by Marcos Dinnerstein

Summary: Choosing a translation agency is an important decision. Learn best practices from a modern, cloud-based collaborative translation platform - MotaWord

How does a modern translation company use the latest software tools to augment trained translators? And what advantages does that give them over a traditional translation agency?

To start - when a traditional translation company puts up a website that does not make them modern, and certainly not digital. The actual quoting, translation, delivery and housekeeping functions are still typically done by a project manager and a single translator with no technology assisting that work.

MotaWord is natively digital. The MotaWord platform facilitates and improves the work of translators. Our translators work on a document simultaneously via a unique collaboration platform. Unlike a traditional translation agency, MotaWord’s translators can see each other’s work in real-time. They learn from and improve each other’s work while adding a layer of accountability to the process that does not exist with a single translator working on a document. And the MotaWord platform employs translation memory technology and our Translator Quality Score Algorithm for ever-improving work. Read more on how we constantly monitor the translation quality: Ensuring Accurate Translations With MotaWord

The demand for translations, both in personal and business life, is ever increasing as the economy continues to globalize. This massive growth in demand makes it impractical to do translations as we’ve done them for hundreds of years. But humans are still needed to produce accurate, reliable translations. In order to understand why the 46 billion dollar a year translation industry is still dominated by humans, it makes sense to look at the current state of "Machine Translations". Here is some background on computer translations.
Terms to understand

"Word-based” and "Phrase-based” translations were used in early translation software. The results were very rough translations, good only for getting a basic understanding of what the text was trying to convey. This type of machine translation is almost nearly abandoned as it does not yield reliable results. The next stage of machine translation was:

Machine or Neural Machine Translation (NMT) - this software enhanced translation performance by using neural networks to learn to translate entire sentences without breaking them down into smaller parts. This system then uses the prior text to create a context where further translations can be performed. While NMT is much better than the early machine translations, they are still not ready for prime time and might not be for some while yet.

Read more about Neural Machine Translation

And watch this video: Neural Machine Translation Tutorial - An introduction to Neural Machine Translation



Translation memory technology is a linguistic database that captures and saves repetitive phrases for future use. It enables translators to work faster and lower the cost of your translation projects by eliminating the need to translate repetitive phrases. It is important to note that this technology does not replace human translators; rather, it augments translators' skills to provide faster and more accurate translations. This is what MotaWord does. MotaWord’s platform equips translators with this transformative technology.

Read more on translation memory technology

Pricing Differences
Traditional Translation Agencies: Minimum prices are common for them. This makes small jobs too expensive to be practical. Prices begin at $29 and up. Many translation agencies charge different rates for translating different languages.

MotaWord: No minimum - Just $0.14 per word. No contracts. No commitment. Whatever the language pair.

File Types Are Accepted
Traditional translation agencies accept a limited range of file types and return the translation in a limited range of file types. 
MotaWord can ingest the major office suite files, rich text, plain text, as well as 25 machine-readable formats. Learn more here

Speed of Delivery
Traditional translation agencies: Minimum delivery time is 6 - 24 hours for the ‘top-rated companies’ based on our internal research. And that only after you pay a "rush fee" for the speedy service.

MotaWord’s platform is available 24/7. The moment your job comes in translators can begin to work on it. And you can see their work and offer guidance in real time. So whether it’s a single page or one hundred pages your job will be finished significantly faster than a traditional translation service. About 20 times faster.

When looking at translation services be sure your choice has the right people and the breadth of languages to handle both your current needs and long term needs. Then be sure your choice of a translation service uses the best technology to provide accurate, fast translations at a fair price. Your choice should be MotaWord.

Any questions about translations? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We stand ready to work with you.

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