How to Choose a Good Translation Company
When choosing a translation company, it’s important to look beyond price. Seems obvious when we’re shopping for other things, like a car, earphones, a mobile phone… why shrug your shoulders when comparing rates for translation?
Whether you need translation for a specific project, or on an ongoing basis, taking the time to research translation companies before making your choice increases the value you get for every cent you spend. More than that, it helps you avoid a plethora of problems, including inaccurate, low-quality translations, poor localization, slow workflow, or missed deadlines.
But how can you tell whether a translation company is right for you? Ideally, you want to test them out on one or two projects before agreeing to a bigger engagement. Look for the following things in your translation company.
Association memberships, Accreditation and certification
Although not always required, you may want to work with a translation company that uses mostly accredited and certified translators who are fluent in both the source and the target languages. Even when a translation company uses translation software, the translated material must always be reviewed. If a translation company is a member of an association, accredited and certified, that is typically reflected more in the quality of their work than in any badge they may have on their website.
The best translation company for you knows the ins-and-outs of your industry, having translated for other clients in your industry before. Case studies, client testimonials, and client references can help you find out whether they are familiar with your industry, or whether they only claim they are.
Many providers of translation services today are in fact not translation companies at their core, but business services companies, design companies, or marketing agencies. This usually means that they don’t have a dedicated network of translators. For best results, use the services of a company focused on translation and content.
Good workflow management
A good translation company does more than translate your content. They integrate project management, can connect to your content management system, understand content marketing, and can provide localization. All of these can be combined to create a more effective translation process that in the long term not only saves you time, but also money.
Effective management of terminology
Consistent authoring is one of the keys to reducing translation costs and ensuring consistency across all your translated content, regardless of the target language. A good translation company can work effectively with your existing glossaries, and create and manage new ones if necessary.
Quality control practices
Accurate translations are usually the result of at least one revision, during which translators incorporate feedback from local operations managers. A professional translation company ensures quality by revising translated material and optimizing or modifying it as necessary until it is accurate.
Secure and confidential
Some of the data you are translating can be sensitive. When translation companies are careless with their data, they may be using online tools and services and unwittingly leave traces of your materials online. The translation company you work with should offer you non-disclosure agreements to guarantee the safety of your data.
Choose to work only with a translation company that meets the criteria above and inspires trust, customer service and nothing will be lost in translation.