Good Translator | Bad Translator

How to choose a translator…

In an online world it’s almost impossible to know if you’re talking to a professional, a robot or another fly by night company. The world is a very small place now and you can connect with people in every corner of the globe in seconds. Visit any freelance site nowadays and you’ll see translators available for every language under the sun.  There are thousands of translation agencies in the world. The choice is limitless.

Who do you trust with your translation?
If you don’t speak the language yourself it is hard to tell if a translation company really is any good.  How do you know the manual you recently had translated is technically accurate, or indeed represents your company well. We’ve all seen badly translated English documents. We just never get to see the badly translate foreign documents as we can’t speak all those languages. However you can guarantee they are out there.

Even if you don’t speak a language you can still get an idea of how good the company is from a few simple steps. When you’re talking to the sales team – listen to the types of questions they ask you. Are they really interested in what your product does? or are they just trying to get you to close the sale today.

Good translation companies ask questions. Context is important for translation. When I speak about a “Row”. Is that a row of chairs, have a “Row:fight” with someone or are you “Rowing” a boat – taking a row.

If you are asked for a language such as “Spanish” – then you might be asked if you need Spanish for Spain, or Spanish for Latin America. There is a difference in the language.

Chinese is the same. There are different versions of chinese depending on the region.

Get our Free Guide

If you’d like to learn more we’ve developed our buyers guide to translation that you can download for free here:

Damian Scattergood

STAR Translation


Are you Brexit Ready?

London City

As Brexit rapidly approaches how ready is your business to deal with it?

Brexit is a hot topic for many people at the moment so  I thought I would weigh-in on the Brexit debate with my own insights. As Managing Director of STAR here in Ireland I’ve been planning for Brexit for a while and discussed it with many of our clients in both UK and Ireland. Here are some things to consider for your own preparations

Enterprise Ireland Checklist

One of the first things we recommend is that you complete the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Preparedness checklist. This is a great free tool sponsored by the Irish Government for companies to analyse what risks the company might be exposed to and how to develop a plan around this. Whilst originally designed for companies in Ireland it is just as useful for companies in the UK. Well worth doing. Look on the site for the Brexit ScoreCard

How Brexit Impacts The Translation Services Business

Language Changes: We have noticed a change in the languages companies are translating into. In the past UK-based companies would predominately translate into most European languages. However, many companies are reviewing the countries they sell into and are changing their spending patterns on translation accordingly. We’ve seen come companies reduce their spend for some markets, and instead request transaltion to expand into new regions such as Asia. For UK based companies it is worth considering what languages you will be translating into and any cost adjustments you might need. With the exception of Japanese and some complex languages, most languages costs should be pretty similar.

Vendor Choices: Some businesses in the UK have decided to focus on using local translation vendor companies. This helps them reduce their currency exhange risk in the short term. However, after Brexit it is uncertain if this will remain a solid strategy. There is potential that offshoring to translation agencies in the Euro zone might be more cost effective.  Whilst you will still be exposed to some euro exchange risk, the risk would be reduced. The translation agency managing multiple languages and sub-suppliers would be carrying the risk. Your exposure would be to a single source vendor, as opposed to multiple vendors.

Current Fluctuation / Finance Implications

The current exchange rate fluctuation is a big challenge for every company trading internationally.  For example in the translation services industry since Brexit the Euro – Sterling rate has moved some 15% or more. For UK companies this has made translation companies in Europe more expensive. We have had to adjust our pricing and cost structures to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Some UK companies importers and exporters are struggling if they are buying raw material from outside the UK for manufacturing. Following assembly in the UK and re-exporting they are getting a double hit in costs, tariffs and addtional overheads.

This has lead some companies to explore moving some or all of their operations outside the UK, depending on their supply chain.
There is some useful information on the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors website in the UK about this.

Just in Time (JIT)

Manufacturer employing “Just In Time” supply chain delivery need to evaluate the costs of any hard border or import slow down as a result of Brexit. Any delays in production will impact revenue dramatically and at worst their ability to deliver product on time.

Options being taken by UK Manufacturers include, stockpiling product for the short term, increasing stock holding for longer JIT times or simply creating warehousing facilities in the Euro zone.


They restrictions on the free movement of people and its impact on staffing remains to be seen. There is potential for Brexit to impacts both current staff and recruitment.

Contracts, Benefits, Pensions, Visa’s etc may need to be reviewed.

Hiring staff will also be more challenging and legislation has changed. Have you considered all the impacts on your company? With the multi-national and multi-lingual nature of our business this is a major consideration for us.

On staffing, even simple things such as sales teams moving in and out of Europe will need close review. If you have UK based sales teams travelling to and from Europe post Brexit will there be delays, additional travel costs etc attending sales, meetings exhibitions, conferences and client meetings?

What steps might be required in moving stands and expo equipment across Europe from the UK?

We are currently looking at our own Dublin sales team and how this might impact us travelling across the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.

Brexit Impact on Manufacturers

Manufacturers are hit on a number of fronts.

  • Import / Export Tariffs
  • JIT
  • CE Marking / ISO Standards

At the moment current thinking is that CE Marking should be ok. However there are some concerns that there may be some additional legislation around this when products from the UK will be officially designated as coming from outside the EU. Additional certification or paperwork might be needed. On the other hand we’re currently not aware of any discussions about products moving from the EU into the UK. If you want to know more about CE marking you can contact the CE Marking Association in the UK.

We work with manufacturing companies around the globe and translate documentation into over 70 languages. One of the important things to remember is that we can update documents we have previously translated – so we can help control the costs of any new documentation if this has to happen for you.

What happens if there is no deal on Brexit?

This is a tough question. The UK government has an excellent resource on its’ website publishing information on a variety of supports and options for people and companies alike  if there is a no deal Brexit.

How can we help?

Here in STAR we are in the same position as our own clients. As an internaionally traded company we work with businesses around the globe. We have customers in the UK and elsewhere. We face similar exposures and challenges to our clients.

Our global footprint gives us the strength to help you deliver your products in whatever country you choose. If you’re considering expanding into a new region and have questions, we’re happy to discuss how we can help you reach new markets.

Brexit also brings opportunities. Read more about Brexit Export Implications and Sales Ideas.

What action can you do today to help your business?

Damian Scattergood Managing Director STAR Translation Services

Trinity College Translation Talk With STAR

Recently our vendor manager Isabel Puente Lozano had the opportunity to speak to the team and students of Trinity College about STAR’s Services.

STAR is one of the worlds largest translation agencies and developer of language and multilingual information technology. Our team in Dublin translates into over 70 languages for companies here in Ireland and across the globe.  We work with many of the local colleges to help grow the skills required to make Ireland a global hub for international translators.

“It was a pleasure to be at the Trinity Centre for Literary Translation and be able to talk to translation students and future translators! Thanks for all the interesting questions and the good conversation after the talk. Sharing my biggest challenges at STAR as a Vendor Manager was very insightful. I hope we can collaborate together in the future!”

Isabel works recruiting translators and proofreaders for our teams here in Ireland. If you’d like to reach out to hear more about opportunities you can follow her on LinkedIn.

Looking to work with STAR?

We publish all our jobs on our Jobs and Recruitment pages.



STAR Prisma SMART Content Services

In today’s IOT world – getting your information to work for you is the next big challenge. Prisma powered by STAR brings your technical information to life.


How Translation Technology Reduces Business Costs : STAR Transit

Translation Technology For Business

How STAR Transit NXT can help grow your business internationally.

We live in an increasingly globalized world, where success comes down to be understood in every language.

Regulatory requirements also play a key factor. We need to translate websites, documents, marketing copy, user interfaces, contracts and much more.

Do you need to translate all your content again and again? Thankfully not. With STAR Transit you can store your translation and reuse it across your product suites – thus delivering faster time to market with consistent quality copy.

Talk to our technology team to learn more about how we can help your business.



You buy me to eat, but never eat me. What am I?



Answer: Silverware.


Leave a comment or share your own riddle with us.


The STAR Team




I start with M and end with X. I have a never ending amount of letters. What am I?

Answer: A mailbox.


Leave a comment or share your own riddle with us.


The STAR Team