For businesses that deal with international clients, apt and accurate translations are a necessity. Deciding on a translations agency that works for you and your business is important and we’ve compiled a list of 9 things to ensure you are discerning enough when choosing.
What do You Need?
For promotional messages, you might want to consider emphasizing more on the products’ merits and offering the reader a call for action. This is vastly different from the kinds of information contained in operational manuals, where you might be inclined to value technical precision. If you choose to entrust someone to translate the message for you, ask yourself, will they fully express the essence of the message without losing some meaning in translation?
What are you dealing with?
Check the available resources that the vendor has, regardless of whether they are a more traditional agency that relies entirely on manual human linguists inputs, or a modern agency with computer systems that work to optimize and aid the process. Computer aided translation comes with features such as a glossary or terminology management system, and translation memory, which can considerably improve the efficiency of manual human input, since humans are susceptible to errors and inconsistencies as well.
The many different translation services do not have the same expectations in terms of what essentially creates a quality product. In this case, make sure you ask the vendor for some samples of their past projects. Comtec Translations advise you ask about the quality control measures the have put in place. For example, are there editors to cross check the work done by their various translators? Can they articulate the tone of what you want to put across in another language, in such a way that the target audience will appreciate and even relate to?
Area of Expertise
Using a single generalized approach will undermine the intended communication goals. Expect a premium translation service to have a vertical expertise in the various industries. Keep in mind that not all of the vendors will be able to handle specialty documents such as medical and legal information. For finance and information technology related content, the more experienced translators that have in depth knowledge in the respective subject matter can effectively highlight nuances that usually resonate with the industry insiders. Here are some good tips.
Be sure to ask about turn-around times. Put into consideration the ability of the agency to have the translation work done outside your usual working hours. With translators being located at different time zones, the premium agencies can essentially accommodate any working schedule. Having a wide international resource to choose from is one of the distinguishing factors when compared to a locally based nice-to-five translation agency.
You should be aware of how the agency will ensure confidentiality of the information you provide, such as where you store your documents. Should the company send your information to editors and translators, ensure you ask if they have confidentiality policies in place. Moreover, will they sign a non-disclosure agreement for the projects?
Take note of the various questions that the vendor will ask you in order to stipulate your needs and requirements. Consider how consistent their service towards you is. For example, can they provide the same linguist to translate all of your published materials for them to retain a consistent voice and the same tone? What procedure do they use to re-submit translated work for a second edit?
What systems does the vendor have in place? Ensure that it is user-friendly cloud based platform, which should provide security and transparency for submitting or archiving files and documents, interacting with customer service, and presenting billing information. They should also have room for system integration for automated processes (API) to provide scope for expansion as your business grows over time.
Price and Value
Affordability should not drive you to a certain service. The priority should be more on what you get for the price you pay.