A Quality Translator = a Quality Technical Translation

Zbyněk Zelenka

Zbyněk Zelenka

7. 4. 2014

Technical texts can only be translated by highly-qualified translators with long-term experience in the given field(s). Searching for such specialists is a part of the everyday job for our HR department..

Today, come and see how it is actually done. Let me show you the work our colleagues do while searching for, testing, and evaluating our translators:



Sarka Kadlcikova

HR manager


Jana Seidlova

Vendor manager

Dear colleagues, will you please describe to our readers the process of selecting new translators? And could you tell us what procedures you follow during this process? All of our translators have to undergo a very rigorous selection procedure, and we offer co-operation only to the best of them, which is ultimately about one or two out of every 200 candidates.


How does it work?

The whole process begins by either actively or passively looking for candidates. Active searching means that we search for translators, mainly for special fields or rather rare language combinations. Passive searching means that translators offer us their services on their own. On average, five applicants contact us every day. Sometimes the translators we have been co-operating with for a long time recommend their colleagues, mainly when they are too busy and cannot accept any further jobs from us. In any case, it is necessary for every new, interested translator to first fill out our registration form.


What happens next?

The information they give us is then evaluated and the provided references are checked. For example, we check what translation tools the translator uses, what technical equipment s/he has, and where and what s/he studied. If everything fits our criteria and – at the same time – we are looking for the offered language combination and expertise, we assign them a test translation. We also monitor how the translator communicates etc. If both the translation and communication are on a very high level, the next step is to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement.


Why is this agreement necessary?

This is mainly about maintaining the confidentiality of the information contained in documents provided by our clients. This agreement has to be signed by every translator before s/he receives his/her first job. The translator then must adhere to this agreement, even after our co-operation ends.


Once the NDA has been signed, is the translator then offered a contract?

It does not work so fast. First, it is necessary to do several trial translations supervised by a senior translator. Only after passing this procedure with no errors is the translator offered a General Contract for Translation Services. This contract specifies detailed conditions for the vendors. Our co-operation is considered official only after this contract has been signed.


And then you start to co-operate?

Yes, then we start to co-operate. However, this is not the end of vendor management. In co-operation with our project managers, we make sure that each translation is checked and a related language quality inspection report is filed. If the translator makes a mistake, s/he is immediately notified. The quality of each translation is evaluated internally and externally during each job.


Do you keep your vendors informed about your evaluations?

Yes. Every year, together with our project managers, we perform an overall vendor evaluation. We monitor various factors, such as the way the translators worked, their availability, number of complaints they caused etc. The resulting evaluation is then sent to all our main translators, as it is important that they receive feedback on their work. They need to hear where they excel, but also what can be improved. This whole process is defined in our quality management system, which is audited every year both internally, as well as externally by a certified organization.


Observing the above-listed policies guarantees that specialized and technical translations into various languages are assigned to professionals with the necessary expertise and that there is a minimum number of complaints. See 2014 – ZELENKA focuses on quality translations for more information about our goals relating to quality.

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