The Foreign Friend
... your LanguAgent!
A complete menu of services,
to take care of your texts before,
during, and after translation!
A complete menu of services,
to take care of your texts before,
during, and after translation!
The Foreign Friend believes that the translation must fit the needs of the customer - not the other way around! Following this approach, we have developed an ad hoc service for all needs. So, if you are looking for...
…a simple understanding of text meaning, we offer a low cost translation, assigned to undergraduates or fresh graduates (see also Low price);
…a text that you can finalize on your own, we offer a basic translation, assigned to Junior resources (see also Basic;)
…a text that is faithful in all respects to the original document, we offer a professional translation, assigned to Intermediate resources (see also Literal);
…a text which looks like it was written directly in another language, we offer a smooth translation, assigned to Senior resources (see also Optimized);
…a text which looks like it was created by a native language writer, we offer an adapted translation, assigned to Copywriters (see also TransCreation);
…a technical text for specialists, we offer a specialized translation, assigned to Subject Matter Experts (see also Speciallized).
Additionally, to avoid any faux pas, we take our role of foreign friend very seriously, highlighting all choices which we do not advise when choosing your translation service.
Everyone makes mistakes! This is well-known to anyone who manages people services - so we study past mistakes very carefully in order to prevent, identify, and fix issues, with targeted Post-translation services!
Quality check - We “measure” the value of a translated text, providing you with a report that summarizes and classifies the translation errors, in order to identify the causes and solutions.
Proofreading - We clean up the translated text of all imperfections (grammar and spelling errors, typos, etc.), which the author or reviewer may have missed.
Review - We look for and correct all translation errors and imperfections that may be present in the translated text.
If you bought a human translation, and are concerned of possible mistakes, we can help you by finding and correcting them.
In addition to performing and reviewing translations, we offer several Additional Services which will improve the quality and reduce the cost of your foreign language communications.
Creation of glossaries - We mitigate the risk that the authors or translators of your company’s documents may make improper or incoherent use of the terms that are most significant to your communications.
Creation of TMs - We give new value to your past translations by transforming them into powerful databases which can cut your future translation costs by up to 70%.
Large volumes - Teams of dedicated translators, discounts in proportion to the volume of works, staggered deliveries, customized workflows… Take a look at the services we offer to customers requiring greater flexibility!
NOT AVAILABLE (ONLY INTERNAL EMPLOYEES WITH AVERAGE EXPERIENCE) - In order to offset the fixed costs of labor, tasks are assigned only to internal employees regardless of their level of competency for the task, never to external vendors.
NOT AVAILABLE (ONLY EXTERNAL VENDORS WITH AVERAGE EXPERIENCE) - In order to keep rates below the selling price offered by the automated online quote published by the agency, tasks are assigned only to external vendors with average skill levels who reside in their home countries.
SIX OPTIONS (EXTERNAL VENDORS OF EVERY SKILL LEVEL) - In order to find the best match between the quality of the service and vendor experience (from student, for a basic understanding of texts, to specialist with over 20 years of experience for highly technical texts) we recruit external vendors of all skill levels who reside in their home countries.
NOT AVAILABLE – With average quality translators, the agency can offer a single level of service.
SIX STANDARD OPTIONS, PLUS ANY NUMBER OF CUSTOMIZATIONS - Customers can choose the service that best suits their current requirements. And in case of large volumes we set up customized workflows!
NOT AVAILABLE - The customer is not allowed to choose, because the agency will assign the task to the first internal/external translator available.
DIRECT SELECTION - The customer can choose his preferred candidates for the translation as he fills out the quotation request form and, in some cases, may get directly in touch with them.
ON DEMAND - The customer finds out about the price of the service only upon submission of a request that explains the requirements and provides the agency with his company’s background (so the price ends up tailored to the estimated spending capacity of the customer).
INSTANT, BUT STANDARD - The customer queries an instant quote tool and can also place an instant purchase order for a standard service (which by definition cannot cater to the specific needs of the customer and to the availability of translators with the right skills).
INSTANT QUOTE AND CUSTOMIZED PURCHASE ORDER - The customer is presented with a price range (min/max) for the type of service he is looking for, and can then choose to request a purchase order that is tailored to his actual needs (materials, deadlines, budgets, quality, etc.).
SERVICE VALUE - The quality committed to the customer is summarily expressed by terms such as “quality translations”, “top quality”, etc., which promote the value of the service and help sales, but do not provide any concrete evidence of what the service really offers.
USEFULNESS OF THE SERVICE - We believe that the quality of the service lies in its ability to meet the requirements for which it was commissioned. So a “Low Cost” translation is of good quality insofar as it provides a basic understanding for a minimal expenditure, whereas an “Optimized” translation is of good quality if it provides a faithful text that is pleasant to read.
IMPOSSIBLE - “High quality” is not a measurable standard: without specific definitions, customers cannot assess the quality delivered to them in order to hold the supplier to the commitment of “high quality”.
POSSIBLE - Quality can be readily measured by assessing if and how much the usefulness promised (basic understanding, faithful translation, etc.) has indeed been delivered.
LOCAL TRANSLATORS SELECTED BY INTERVIEWS - Since the agency must host staff on its premises, it is limited to recruiting professionals from its local area.
TRANSLATORS (OF AVERAGE SKILL LEVEL) FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD SELECTED BY TESTS - By subcontracting its projects over the Internet, the agency can look for professionals anywhere in the world (as long as their rates do not exceed the agency’s cost thresholds); recruitment takes the form of a translation test which does not necessarily provide a correct assessment of the translator’s “usual” level of quality (especially since these tests are often filled out by the candidates’ more senior colleagues without the agency being aware of it).
TRANSLATORS (OF ALL SKILL LEVELS) FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD SELECTED BY VALIDATING THEIR EXPERIENCE AND COMMERCIAL REPUTATION - We look for professionals from all over the world, reviewing their past translations and interviewing a number of references that is adequate to their experience. We will not reject the best just because they are the most expensive: our customers can rest assured that we are always able to provide the most appropriate resources for their requirements.
PROOFREADING - Translations are performed by internal employees (who are considered reliable by default), so the text usually undergoes just a simple proofreading from another internal resource.
COMPETITIVE REVIEW - Since it is in the reviewer’s best interests to win future deals for himself, he could take advantage of his role to make extensive changes which are often useless, and sometimes even harmful.
COLLABORATIVE REVIEW - Our proprietary platform allows project managers, translators, reviewers, and customers to be online together, creating powerful and productive synergies!
“FULL REFUND ASSURANCE” - The refund is usually guaranteed “up to 100%”, but is granted only if the customer presents a request within the deadlines and through the appropriate channels. It is also quantified at the sole discretion of the agency, according only to objective mistakes (grammar, syntax, spelling) and never to inappropriate style, which is not quantifiable.
WE BELIEVE THAT PROMISING A REFUND WILL DISCOURAGE THOSE LOOKING FOR RELIABILITY - Experience tells us that customers are not interested in getting their money back as much as fulfilling the requirements which led to the investment in the first place without wasting precious time - that they will never get back anyway! This is why we dedicate our resources to the selection and training of reliable translators rather than to the rejection of complaints.
"SECOND VERSION" - Customers are usually entitled to a second edition, which allows the agency to buy the translation from an average/low quality translator, turning to more senior resources only if and when the customer proves to have sufficient language skills and presents a complaint within the deadlines and through the channels mandated by the contract.
"BEST FIRST" - We cannot offer a second edition that is better than the first, because we assign your text to the best available translator from the very first moment. What’s more, the customer can ask for changes to the text delivered as preview by communicating directly with the linguists (see also Deluxe Assurance).
"TRANSLATION IN LINE WITH THE CURRENT QUALITY STANDARD"- Professional translations - even when conforming to the EN 15038:2006 standard - are prepackaged compromises: costs, timelines, skills, and processes are balanced according to an abstract model, which is ideal for some requirements - but is therefore also completely unsuitable for others.
"TRANSLATIONS IN LINE WITH THE DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS, PERFORMED ACCORDING TO STANDARDS OF PROVEN SUCCESS" - We offer our customers six translation models as well a limitless number of customized packages. The absence of objective errors is guaranteed by the skills and processes we put in place, while style is guaranteed - when such assurance is part of the service - by the selection of above average resources as well as by allowing the customer’s foreign correspondent to do a review before final delivery.
EMAIL - Files are delivered to the translators’ PCs as e-mail attachments.
ACCESS TO OUR SECURE CORPORATE SERVERS - The files are usually translated and reviewed directly online, on our servers, without sending copies around.
POSSIBLE - Translators can copy the material and secretly subcontract the job to other colleagues.
IMPOSSIBLE – The material is copy-protected, and translators are identified every time they access it by unique credentials.
POSSIBLE - Once uploaded to an automated translation service, texts become public and available to anyone.
IMPOSSIBLE - The Project Manager can set the translation environment to prevent the use of automated translation services.
SINGLE - A single costs implies the availability of a single class of professionals: once the price is set, the agency cannot recruit - and offer - professionals with experience and rates that are higher than the agency’s reselling thresholds.
MODULAR - We recruit translators of all skill levels. With our automated quote calculator customers have instant access to the minimum and maximum prices for each service, according to the rates of the translators we recommend. The customer can then ask for a custom quote and share his budget: the Project Manager will then optimize the use of the budget, selecting translators whose profiles, skills, and rates are in line with the requirements.
MODULAR, BUT BEWARE OF THE STYLE - Cutting down on timelines requires technologies and knowledge that are not yet commonplace: without the use of web-teamworking platforms the reviewer will be unable to coordinate the style and terms used by the linguists involved in the translation, and will be forced to wait until everyone delivers his part before being able to begin his own task. Unfortunately by that time it may no longer be possible to make the end result consistent, because the effort and time needed would cause the deadline to be missed.
MODULAR - If your deadlines are especially tight, we can assemble a dedicated team who will work non-stop across time zones! Our web-teamworking platform allows the reviewer to receive real time updates from the team members, so he can guarantee that the text will be smooth and consistent from the earliest stages.