In a globalized world, translation services have become the backbone of modern business. To make it even better, it’s not just the businesses that require translation services. From people immigrating to different parts of the globe to authors who want to publish their books in other languages, the need for translation services is growing daily. The growth in demand has also led to new service providers entering the translation services market.
Those who’ve used translation services in the past can attest to how hard it is to find a professional translation agency. By professional, we mean a translation service provider who does fantastic work and meets all your requirements. It feels good to have your translation needs handled on the go. By choosing the best translation services provider, you get all your needs met and in the best way possible.
Thanks to technology, online translation services are available. You can get an online translation agency that meets all your translation needs and in a professional manner. Let me give you an example of what a professional online service provider can handle. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, different countries closed their borders to stop the spread of the virus. As we all know, the world’s economy didn’t stop moving though it slowed down drastically. This means some people still have to board airplanes and move from one country to the other.
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Despite having closed borders and airports, some countries allowed people with negative COVID-19 certificates to board flights and get into the country. Assuming you are traveling to a country whose official language isn’t English and you have your negative COVID-19 certificate in English? To make it worse, you noted this midflight. You would need the services of a certified translation agency to have the certificate translated and authenticated such that when you land, you have a certificate in the official language of the country you are visiting. But how easy is it to find such an online translation services provider?
It is much easier if you know what to look out for. Remember, you need an agency that helps you convey business communication quickly and effectively. Your brand’s reputation is pegged solely on the quality of your written materials, meaning you have no option but to get the best. Below are few pointers to help you select the best translation service provider:
1. Understand Your Needs
What are you translating, and how would you like the message conveyed? When it comes to translating promotional written materials, you need the translation provider online to convey the benefits of your specific product and the call to action precisely. Ensure the translation service provider knows how to be technically accurate when translating information from the operational manual. The better you understand your needs, the better services you get from your service provider. Depending on what you want, read the translation samples when shopping for an agency to know if they can accurately express your message.
2. Qualified Human Translators
Technology has impacted every industry globally, and the translation services industry hasn’t been left behind. Today, machine translation is a hot topic and is sometimes viewed as a cost-saving alternative compared to human translation. However, machine translation shouldn’t be a replacement for human translators. The best language providers should have human translators ready to handle translations at any time. A network of qualified and certified human translators should be the core of any translation service’s business coupled with skillful project managers. When selecting a translation services provider, look for an agency working with qualified and vetted human translators. If possible, get information about their human translators’ selection process. This gives you better insight into how they pick translators and if they are the best.
3. Operate 24/7
Thanks to the internet, the world is now one global village. Through the internet, you can talk to whoever you want wherever they are in the world and at any time. This should also apply to translation service providers. The best translation service provider should operate 24 hours a day and all seven days of the week. But one would be inclined to ask, why? When it comes to translation services, you need an agency that is flexible in delivering all your translations. Can you get your translations at any time of the week during the day or night? An available company 24/7 offers you flexibility in delivery.
On the same, you might require fast translation services at night during the weekend. If you rely on a translation service provider who isn’t available 24/7, you might have to wait for the weekend to end before getting a reply. Take into account the time it takes to set up your project, and you might lose the business. Get a translation service provider who can reply fast, any day and any time.
Depending on the nature of your business, you might need translation services from just one language to another, or you need translation services in a range of languages. Working with a small language translation service provider comes in handy if you need one language translation service. However, you might need your translations in different languages. Here, you have to choose a multilingual services provider. They should be able to manage translation projects in various languages and do it perfectly. Here, you have to factor in human translators. Machine translations are good but not as accurate and precise in all languages compared to human translators. Some of your translated materials might sound bland or “tasteless” when done by a machine compared to the same done by human translators.
Make sure the agency you choose to work with has great command of all the languages related to your business. This will help your business penetrate easily into other markets all over the world.
5. Turnaround Time
In the translation services world, every project should have its own unique turnaround time. When it comes to business, time can be the difference between average performance and success. Take a better look at the turnaround time provided by the translation agency. For the best, choose to work with translation service providers who adhere to strict deadlines and accept penalties in case of delay. A company that accepts penalties in case of delay understands the essence of time. This is also a good sign of professionalism. An agency like this also shows it has all the resources needed to deal with a project of your magnitude. When we say time is money in the world of business, we mean it. Every bit of time counts. After taking up the new project, an agency that doesn’t adhere to strict deadlines scrambles to search for freelancers. This gives them little control over the quality of the translations.
Keep an eye on the cost of the translation services rendered. This is business, and reducing your expense means a lot and increases your profits. With price, it gets tricky sometimes. Some agencies might lure you in with their unbelievable quotes, but in the end, they disappoint you with their subpar or ultimately poor-quality services. Avoid companies that primarily bank on cost as their USP.
On the other hand, agencies that charge the highest might be charging you more than what should be charged for that service. Some of these companies also quote a high price in a bid to lure you in with the assumption that a higher price means better services. This is one reason you should never select a company based on price or cost. Instead of all this, shortlist five agencies or more according to your standards and ask for quotes from all of them before you settle with the one that promises the best quality combined with value for money.
7. Native Translators
You can choose to do business with a translator from anywhere in the world. However, it is much better and pays to get a company with native translators. A person in India might offer you excellent translation services from English to German and vice versa and maybe at a lower cost. However, it is faster and much better to hire a native German linguist. The native translator has a better understanding of the language, the culture, and the way of life. They have better cultural know-how, and they understand how different situations sound in their language. This plays a significant role, especially if you want to enter a new market and you need to connect with the natives to sell your product.
When you select the translation service provider to give your project, insist on interviewing the translator who will work on your project. The results depend solely on their skills plus their command of the language. To ensure accuracy, insist on working with native translators. This way, your translations become better and of substance to read and understand.
Thanks to the internet, you can work with agencies based anywhere across the globe. This has led so many companies to work with providers based in lower cost of living countries like India to save on overhead costs. Without a doubt, cost is an important factor. However, working with an LSP near or in your time zone makes communication easier. You get to communicate with the providers in real-time instead of waiting for a whole business day to get a response from an out-of-country provider.
Consider working with providers with global locations where you plan to market your products. Working with agencies whose project managers are located in your areas of business ensures that your local and international teams get easy access to direct contacts during their business hours. The project managers based in these locations helps them access talent more effectively and improve their ability to negotiate much more favorable terms when giving out contracts.
9. Approach to project management
When doing business with a translation service provider online, you want nothing but the best. As part of the agency’s quality management process, the selected agency’s project management should fall under the ISO9001 certification. Even with this certification, the process might vary in different agencies.
A professional and reputable agency’s approach to project management should be guided by the quality of service to the customer and suppliers and the quality of a product. Instead of assigning multiple contacts to your account in different business functions like a project manager and account manager, the project manager is engaged with the linguists and the client. It is a better and more successful approach enabling them to understand the nuances and scope of your project and improve customer support and feedback.
10. Quality Management Process
Quality assurance is vital for a coherent and accurate translation, especially for any project divided among different translators. When selecting a translation agency, start with the project manager’s qualifications. This is your point of contact for all translations, and they should be highly skilled and well organized. The education, language expertise, and ability to source talent for your translations are vital to continued success.
On the same, get a company with a documented quality assurance process. This should include proofreading and editing as part of their package. A translator might be so skilled but a second or even a third eye is vital to ensure perfect translations across the entire project.
When selecting a translation service provider, you have to go beyond translations. Check the core of the business, its values as well as principles. Examine their ability to deliver perfect results by requesting samples, looking at their translator selection process, and their project managers across board. Does the provider offer any additional services such as subtitling, transcription, desktop publishing, or transcription? This saves you from the stress of dealing with multiple agencies for your project.