Better Languages Wins Multi-Million Pound Government Contract

Better Languages logo

OK, only kidding, but it would be great wouldn’t it? We’ve just signed up for the “Compete for” website, its free to register, and any UK company wanting to tender for public sector business should sign up. The slight snag is our current size. we’re probably not ready for a multi-million pound government contract yet. We do have large customers though. You can find out more in our case studies section.

Some business stats from Better Languages:

We can deal with large volume jobs, and multiple languages. Here are a few translation stats from last year:

Most translated language:

Hungarian. Its easy to assume that we would translate larger volumes of standard European languages. So maybe French or German would be top. We do do a lot of both languages. Actually the results are skewed because we had a single huge order for Hungarian. Around 600 SKUs for a large retailer.

There has been a definite trend of more demand for central European languages. We’ve also translated lots of Polish, Czech, Slovak, and Romanian.  Previous years winners were Simplified Chinese in 2008, and Flemish in 2007.

Highest volume tight deadline job:

62,000 words into Polish in 5 working days. Not our recommended way to work. However, it got our client out of a hole. They had badly been let down by another agency. To give an idea, its around 6 weeks work for a translator, delivered in 5 working days. It was only achievable because we had a team of two translators. There was also a lot of repetition within the text. We used a shared database of terminology, and of course worked very long days.

Largest number of languages on a single project:

40. That kept the project manager busy. In theory it doesn’t take much longer for a multi-language project than a single language translation. In theory… This is because all the translation team work simultaneously. However there is a much bigger co-ordination and document compilation task for the project manager.

Smallest value single order:

About £50 + VAT for a very short text in a single language.

Most interesting project:

Translation for The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. This was English to French, following the find of a First World War mass grave at Fromelles, in France. Any student of history would love this type of project. It so happened that our lead translator has extensive experience of this combination of PR and military history translation.

Strangest enquiry:

This has to go to the person who rang us up and said “I need a quote please. Not sure what languages. And I can’t send you the text, as it hasn’t been written yet. Don’t have any clue how long it will be….” Even a few basic facts will make our task easier! It’s an equivalent question to “how long’s a piece of string?”

Biggest achievement:

ISO 9001 quality assurance. Well not quite. We have the system up and running and are awaiting accreditation. Its been a lot of work, so the champagne is on ice ready for when we achieve accreditation.

Talking of champagne, we’ve been shortlisted in the Nottingham Post business awards. We are in two categories, best use of IT and communications, and Small Business of the Year. The ceremony is on 1st July at the Council House. Win or lose, its great to be nominated.

So the newspaper article entitled “Better Languages wins multi-million pound government contract”, hasn’t been written just yet. OK, must get back to that Government tender document…

Contact us to discuss any aspect of translation.