Translating is not merely about using one word for another; it is about conveying a message. Each term must be chosen carefully. Europages clearly understood this when it set about establishing a network of freelance translators back in 2003. It never subcontracts any content outside this network.
Initially comprising ten or so translators, our network now numbers over one hundred freelance translators, installed throughout Europe and worldwide. We translate all the site’s content into 26 languages, and our customer’s ads into 15 languages from English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Dutch. Our translation department is like a veritable translation agency, and we are our own customer. It oversees a number of missions: day-to-day management of translation projects, quality control, budget monitoring, recruitment, translator support and assistance, etc.
Europages is eager to maintain its collaboration with its translators; some of them have been working with us from the onset more than 20 years ago! As such, they are fully familiar with our trade. Last year, thanks to this fruitful partnership, more than 130,000 ads representing some 8,000,000 words were translated, all languages considered.
CAT, a valuable asset
In 2006, the translation workflow was fully automated so that we could accommodate a greater number of ads and fluidify the process for sending in content for translation by optimising quality, lead times and costs. For this purpose, we had a Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tool developed for us according to our specifications. Our translators use this tool free of charge. The tool memorises the translation of each phrase in a document; it uses a translation memory, i.e. a databank containing a source text and its corresponding translation in the form of translation segments or units.
This system has nothing to do with machine translation (MT) systems such as Google Translate. Machine Translation is a process entirely performed by one or more computer programs, without any human intervention. It is inaccurate and produces many misinterpretations and errors of meaning. CAT on the other hand requires the translator’s intervention. He or she will validate or modify the suggested translations taken from the memory, i.e. those resulting from previous translations. The more the memory is enriched, the higher the pretranslation rate, the better the quality of the translation, and so on.
This system unquestionably leads to time gains and terminological consistency. It also allows us to take on an unlimited amount of texts. It releases translators from tedious, repetitive tasks, leaving them to fully concentrate on their translation.
Each week, from Monday to Thursday, we send each allocated translator a set of ads. The translator acknowledges their receipt and translates them within the specified time. This in turn ensures that Europages meets its deadlines for putting its clients’ ads online. It also guarantees an annual output. Indeed, our automated system runs without any interruptions and is operational 365 days a year, thus representing genuine added value!