Contrary maybe to your experience, getting a good quality translation is not a Russian roulette game…. I put three bullets in the 6-bullet cylinder, I have a good 50/50 chance surviving pulling the trigger…. I did my due diligence when selecting my translator/translation agency, I can be reasonably certain of the successful outcome….
Maybe. But leaving things to chance does not bode well for your final satisfaction. In fact, empirical data show that the editing time spent on any translation does not increase/decrease in linear proportions with the quality (or lack thereof) of the job done.
My personal experience over the last 15 years taught me that compared with a good translation job, a mediocre one will drastically increase the time I spend proofreading/editing it, whatever the number of actual translation errors found in the document!
The mechanism is a simple one: as the proofreader/editor notices that translation errors are a bit too numerous for his/her own comfort, his/her attention cannot help but zeroing in on the possibility of further errors. His/her critique becomes unforgiving. Gradually, he/she rewrites larger and larger chunks of the copy. What might have be considered acceptable quality to start with becomes less and less acceptable. More “has” to be rewritten. Even on purely subjective grounds of perceived style improprieties.More about Translation Agencies UK
In quite the opposite way, an editor correcting a generally well-written and technically accurate translation will become less and less keen to superimpose his/her own indiosyncrasies on the translation job: “Mmmh, I wouldn’t have written it this way, but it’s correct”. Or in other terms, the editor tends to go by the rule “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Based on this, how can you avoid the pitfalls of translator selection?