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When is a less-than-perfect translation acceptable?

In the world of corporate translation, we don’t always need a perfect translation. It’s as simple as that.

How do we define “quality” in translation? It is generally understood as the combination of factors which makes a customer satisfied. Usually those factors are:

  • accuracy of the translation
  • on-time delivery (as agreed or sooner)
  • within price expectations (as per quote, no nasty surprises…)

Those who tend to see a translation as a commodity believe that all translations are the same, and that the only differentiating element is price. Translations are generally priced based on the number of words in the original text. If you see translation as a commodity, comparing suppliers is as easy as comparing their prices. Why are you going to pay $0.24 per word when the next guy offers the same service for $0.23 per word? Aren’t they exactly the same?

There are two types of translation buyers and therefore two types of suppliers. Those who regard translation as a commodity will look for rock-bottom prices. They will not care much about who does the translation, what tools are used or how they will deal with the rest of the documentation process, as long as the service is cheap. This approach is perfectly valid when neither quality nor intelligibility is of any importance.

Those who have other needs must be somewhat more discriminating when looking for a supplier.

Levels of quality

At QuickSilver Translate, we offer four levels of quality, for all major language combinations. See below, for a description of our service levels, and which business purpose each should be used for. But of course, the final decision should always be made with consideration of the final user of the document itself. That is to say, what you need to communicate, and to whom. If your message reaches it’s target audience — then it’s a perfect translation!

Basic Service

For “getting the jist”

To have a basic understanding of incoming documents

Available for any language combination.

Basic Plus Service

For everyday use and/or
non-core online content

Appropriate for:
E-mails, Letters,
and Internal communications

Available for all combinations
between EN, ES, IT, PT, FR, CA.

Business/Classic Service

For professional use
App/Web localisation

Appropriate for:
Blog posts
App/Website UI strings
Training & installation manuals

Available for any language combination.

Premium, for Publication

For Media/Publishing
Client deliverables
Specialised subjects

Appropriate for:
Technical datasheets
Marketing collateral
Case studies, papers, etc.

Available for any language combination.

In conclusion

At QuickSilver, we make every effort to understand and meet our clients’ preferences, objectives and needs, in order to develop and sustain a close, long-term relationship. Furthermore, direct collaboration with clients, partners and distributors is a cornerstone of QuickSilver’s project management philosophy.

For our current prices, visit our home page:

To request a quote, please contact us at or fill in the form below:

[contact-form-7 id=”2971″ title=”Quote form”]

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