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Thread poster: ilzeilze
Sample translations in a corporate website
ilzeilze
Latvia
Local time: 01:00
Japanese to Latvian
Jan 20, 2012

I own a small translation agency specializing in Asian languages. Of course, we have a website. It is regularly updated and, in opinion of our clients and partners, looks very professional. However, it can always be better.. So I was wondering - is it ok for a translation agency to include sample translations in its webpage? At least in Latvia, I don't now a single company which does it..

If we do -

How long should these samples be?
Should we refer to each specific translator or just to us as an agency?
Should we post general texts or specific, like legal, financial, technical translations?
Do you have any advices?

To make it clear, I would like to admit that agency is really very small, so we work side by side with all translators. We usually don't outsource. But, of course, those samples would be "copy-paste protected".

Thank you all in advance.


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James_xia  Identity Verified
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
Just have a try Aug 23, 2012


ilzeilze wrote:

So I was wondering - is it ok for a translation agency to include sample translations in its webpage? At least in Latvia, I don't now a single company which does it..


Copyright is the first thing in your planning for uploading samples. It's advised that you talk with the client about what you think and see if the cut-off parts of their documents are OK for their benefits.

Nonetheless, there are also a lot of publicity parts which might be naturally used as samples. This can be a relatively safe approach.



How long should these samples be?


Basically, short paragraphs are enough depending on the sectors you get involved in translation.


Should we refer to each specific translator or just to us as an agency?


Now that you own a family-based agency, it does not matter whether you use your name or your husband's name, or simply the agency name alone. If you manage a larger company, where different language pairs are included with a group of distinguished translators. Their names, expertise and working experience may play a larger role than merely the samples do.


Should we post general texts or specific, like legal, financial, technical translations?


As a professional translator, if you have already been exposed to different sectors, you might as well select some representative parts of the translated documents in an attempt to win over the positive comments from the potential clients.

Samples are not always required for a larger company, yet they somehow work when properly used by a small agency, which, after all, has not that much hardware to be publicized. Mean time, it does not mean that these samples would certainly help to get your POs back in your hands. Sometimes, improper samples may even cause negative reactions. To hightlight your web pages, however, they are something really useful to exibit your professtional abilities when a new client comes in.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:00
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Some reservations Aug 23, 2012

Obviously, you need to make sure you get permission from the client and negotiate things like any slight changes to the text that might be needed to anonymise them. I also really wonder how useful posting samples is: if your translations are of confidential material, then it's confidential; if it's of publicly available material, then you can just post references such as ISBNs/URLs etc without needing to post actual slabs of text from the work in question. I wonder how many texts actually fall outside one of these categories so that (a) you're allowed to publish a sample on your site, and (b) there's any need to.

In any case, I have a slight reservation about sample texts as examples to clients, and it's this: generally speaking, every text that I translate is translated in such a way as to take into account the purpose and requirements of the specific client in question. So for example, the translation of a rental contract to be used as court evidence and the translation of a rental contract for a gite owner to post on their web site, whilst ostensibly translations of "similar material", are likely to be worded a little differently to cater to the two audiences and purposes in question.

When a potential client looks at your sample translations, they may subconsciously be evaluating them (if indeed they can really evaluate them) in terms of whether your translations will fit their particular desired style, purpose, audience etc. It may not be obvious to them that these client-specific needs are things that you will evaluate and ask them about as part of the translation process and that the "sample" translations aren't necessarily representative of the translation that you would provide for them.

I don't know what others think about this?


[Edited at 2012-08-23 03:11 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:00
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Translate your own website Aug 23, 2012

Why don't you just translate your own website into various languages you offer? Than you have no copyright issues, no problem of style fitting for purpose, and it may help you attracting clients who do not speak the primary language of your website.
Just an idea.


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James_xia  Identity Verified
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
A good idea to go Oct 12, 2012


Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Why don't you just translate your own website into various languages you offer? Than you have no copyright issues, no problem of style fitting for purpose, and it may help you attracting clients who do not speak the primary language of your website.
Just an idea.


This can as well be the simplest way to show your skills in translation. If you don't have much experience as a newcomer to this market, it's advised that you provide the target words of the source text from the established names. After all, it's your fruits of work, regardless of the version that might be available.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some comments Oct 12, 2012


ilzeilze wrote:
Is it ok for a translation agency to include sample translations in its webpage? The agency is really very small, so we work side by side with all translators. We usually don't outsource. Should we refer to each specific translator or just to us as an agency?


I think it depends on your market -- do your clients usually understand the languages into which their texts are translated? If so, it may be a good idea to show off some of your best translations.

The fact that you are a small agency that often work closely with translators tells me that it may be best to use the sample translation section of your web site as a brag section for individual translators. In other words, mention the translators by name (and consider including a photo, to make it even more personal). The samples and the names of the translators make the agency seem more personal and creates the impression that you care about the little things.

Ideally, you need permission from the clients whose texts it is (unless the text is already public), because you would be disclosing their text. I'm not too concerned about copyright because you are simply posting samples, for the purpose of what might be considered commentary. You also need permission from the translators (for the same reasons). What I would do is to select the text you wish to publish, then ask the client's permission (show them exactly what text you selected), and then ask the translator's permission (again, show them exactly what you'll publish). Give the client the option of being mentioned or not mentioned -- some clients may wish to be identified whereas some clients would wish that their texts be published anonymously.


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