The Typical Translation Process
A company develops an innovative product and intends to keep the time to market as short as possible. To make this possible, the translation of the manual is ordered even before the market launch.
The company thus engages a language service provider and determines the due date. The project is very large, and to meet the deadline, the language service provider forwards parts of the project to one of his subcontractors. Both the language service provider and the subcontractor employ freelance translators. One of these translators is very busy, as he is already working on a number of other projects.
However, as he does not want to turn down the offer, he asks a fellow translator whether he could handle half of the job. The translator accepts the job and receives the document by e-mail. The finished translation goes back to the first freelancer, who sends it to the subcontractor, who in turn forwards it to the company's language service provider. Following a final quality check, the finished manual is submitted to the company.
In typical processes like this one, information is inevitably exposed to unnecessary risks. Often, the non-disclosure agreements that are concluded to reduce such risks are not sufficient, as it is difficult to verify whether they are duly complied with. Just think of the incident that occurred back in 2004, when a translator tried to sell the manual of a German submarine to the Chinese secret service. Violations may not always be that bad, but even if information is not forwarded on purpose, non-disclosure agreements cannot protect each and every process-related data transfer.