Latest from the ATC – Maximising performance with the support of a Language Service Provider

We are delighted to share with our readers the latest news release from the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), calling for UK businesses to improve international business performance with the help of a trusted translation partner.

A study for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills showed that poor language skills are currently costing the UK economy £48 billion a year (3.5 per cent of GDP) in lost export sales.

With a falling Pound, making British exports more competitive in overseas markets, the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) is campaigning to raise awareness that investing in language service can bring huge benefits for UK businesses seeking to sell goods and services abroad.

Indeed, at a time when forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility indicate that GDP will slow to 1.4% in 2017 (down from 2% in 2016), it seems there has never been a more crucial time to invest in supporting business growth.

Accurate translations, in which all colloquialisms and cultural references are correct can add great value to a business, helping them communicate effectively in diverse markets and therefore expanding their opportunities at home and abroad.

But according to the ATC, the UK language sector’s leading professional body, it is only by accessing the right services from the right professional language company that this opportunity can be fully maximised.

The ATC has therefore developed a Guide to Buying Translation Services to support companies in their decision-making process.

Geoffrey Bowden, General Secretary for the ATC explains: “We understand that many companies may be considering commissioning language services for the very first time. We therefore wanted to develop a free resource to help any company investing in translation services get the very best results for their money.”

The guide provides advice on everything from the different services available, best practice when it comes to briefing an agency, the pros and cons of digital translation and even some language industry jargon.

One particular area of focus is how to select the correct translation partner. The guide indicates that while there are no hard and fast rules on the type of translation partner to use, it is often a common misconception that a bilingual member of staff will also be a good translator. Serious mistakes can occur when specialist knowledge of a subject is required and it is also worth weighing up whether translation is the best use of time for staff who are more highly skilled in their own specialism.

If you have determined that you would like to work with a language service provider (LSP) the recommendation is to ask potential translation companies for samples of their work; texts they’ve produced and sold, web sites, brochures or speeches they’ve already translated.

And, for added reassurance about the quality of the translation you will receive, the ATC also suggests working with an accredited company. Members of the ATC are carefully vetted before being admitted as members, adhere to a strict code of professional conduct, are subject to the rulings of a professional ethics committee and carry full professional indemnity insurance cover to safeguard the interests of the translation buyer.

Many ATC members are also certified to EN 15038 (European quality standard for translation services) or its successor, ISO 17100 (global standard), and/or ISO 9001 (International quality management system).

Geoffrey adds: “When commissioning a translation company it is about finding the right partner for your business and, as with any supplier, the longer you work with them, the better they will understand your business philosophy, strategy and products and the more effective their texts will be.”

About The Association of Translation Companies (ATC)

The Association of Translation Companies (ATC) is the world’s longest established professional association representing the interests of Language Service Providers. It is the leading voice for companies operating in the UK’s expanding language services industry, which is worth more than £1 billion and employs more than 12,000 people. Having been formed in 1976 by a group of translation companies in Britain, the ATC has expanded significantly over the last 40 years and now has members from all over the world. Visit to find out more.

About Comtec Translations

An award-winning, full service translation agency, Comtec has over 30 years’ experience in providing fast, accurate and high quality translations in more than 200 languages . We are the trusted language translation partner for many companies who call on our knowledge of international business and expert translation services to help them expand into new markets overseas. If you are a UK-based SME considering expanding your business abroad and would like some advice on translating and localising your business materials, please get in touch on or call us on + 44 (0) 1926 335 681. We are here ready and waiting to help.

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