How to Choose a Translation Company

When it comes time to market your products internationally, you’ll need to start looking for the right translation company to meet your needs. While bridging the language gap is a challenging endeavor, choosing a professional translation company doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Here are ten tips for choosing a translation company that will help you to meet your translation objectives efficiently and effectively.

  • 1. Price vs. Value
    Focus on value and quality – not the expense. Remember, you get what you pay for!
  • 2. Service
    Ask questions as to the attention the company will give to your project, and look into how the company rates in terms of customer service. Does the company establish clear lines of communication with clients? Will you be able to reach out whenever you feel the need to clarify the parameters and workflow of the translation project? You’ll want the same team of translators working on your project to maintain a consistent tone. Also, find out how many edits the company offers.
  • 3. Turnaround Time
    How quickly can the vendor deliver your translation? Most premium agencies will have translation assets located outside your time zone, at centers throughout the world. As such, they are better equipped to meet the needs of your work schedule. A translation service with global resources is a distinguishing factor and is more desirable than one that operates on more traditional, 9-5 schedule.
  • 4. Quality
    Research the translation company to get a sense of the quality of their work. Have you seen past examples of the company’s projects? Are their quality control measures satisfactory? There should be no inconsistencies or errors in the final translation. It should articulate the tone of your message and align with the cultural norms of the context for which it is being translated.
  • 5. Be clear about your needs.
    Your choice of a translation company will depend on the specific objectives of your business. Are you introducing your product into a new market? If so, you’ll want to highlight the benefits of the product, leading to a call to action. This type of translation service is quite different than one that is geared towards emphasizing operational precision for a technical manual, for example. Make sure the translation company you choose can adequately express the focus of your translation campaign.
  • 6. What are the company’s resources?
    If you have narrowed your search down to a few potential translation vendors, evaluate their primary resources. Do they rely on manual input from traditional, human linguists, or is their process optimized with computer-based translation technology? The latter is a more advanced management system that can significantly improve upon human errors and inconsistencies
  • 7. Range of Expertise
    You need a translation company that either does exceptional work in one particular area or, if your needs are varied, one that has expertise in a range of industries. It is typically harder to find the latter. Most translation companies have a single-focus area in which they define their expertise. For example, not all companies will be able to deliver high-quality work in both legal and medical translation.
  • 8. Non-disclosure Agreements
    With translation projects, confidentiality is essential. You need to be sure that your documents and information will be safe as they are transferred to various translators around the world. Make sure the company you choose will sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure your privacy.
  • 9. Storage
    Make sure the company you choose uses the latest technologies to store all documents associated with your projects, such as document submission and archiving, billing, and customer service interaction. Try and go with a company that uses a more convenient cloud-based system to store this information.
  • 10. Other Services
    Many top translation companies will offer additional complimentary services that can be of great value. Some examples include Website SEO, localization, and partnering with your business’s advertising agency.

When translating your information, presenting a message that is clear and context specific is critical. By following the above tips, you’ll be equipped to find a translation partner with the level of expertise, breadth and depth to meet your translation objectives.