Finding a reliable language services provider that will deliver your specific standards is no easy task.
The market is flooded with agencies, some of whom cannot deliver on the many lofty promises they make in their sales pitches.
Choosing the right service provider for your language translation needs will save you money and time in the long run because it can be an absolute nightmare if you have to wait on the results of a translation or a transcription job and find the results come back far from satisfactory.
There are crucial questions that must be answered before you agree to go into business with a language services agency if you want to get the most out of the money you will be investing.
The following highlights five such areas that you have to pay particular attention to when choosing a translation or language services provider. While it is not exhaustive, it does provide an outline of some of the areas that you cannot ignore when looking for a translation agency that can professionally handle your workload and deliver the best standards possible.
Are They Machine or Human Translation Oriented?
Before committing yourself to work with a translation agency, be sure to ask whether they use human or machine translation. If the agency employs both in a complementary set-up, it is important to understand the extent to which each component is involved in the entire process.
Language is a human function and the process of translation cannot be left simply to machines. Translation memory software and different translation tools can always complement human effort, but the results may not be as satisfactory when used on their own. Be sure to ask this question before moving to the next ones!
What Type of Translators Are They Using?
Always go for an agency with native speakers of your target languages. Simply being able to speak a language is no guarantee they will deliver the best possible translation.
With native speakers, you can expect an unmatched fluidity of language and an express understanding of cultural references for better and more accurate translation work, if you need it.
Moreover, when choosing a translation company for your language services needs, check the linguists have the necessary credentials. Professional translators will not disappoint you.
Additionally, if your content is not general purpose, you may want to choose a specialized agency that can provide you with a translator with a background in a specific specialty. You want someone who understands the subject matter, so it may be wishful thinking to expect a quality translation on legal content from someone with no legal background and zero understanding of even the basics of the field.
Do They Have Quality Assurance Procedures?
Language translation services do not come cheap and you should get what you pay for in terms of quality.
Errors in the translated work can cost you far more than just money by jeopardizing your reputation, among other things.
Ensure that you find out about the quality control measures an agency has in place. How will the agency ensure that you get error-free work that will suit your exact purposes? This involves hiring the right personnel for the job to ensuring that every piece of content goes through careful editing and proofreading before finding its way back to you. Ask the agency to explain the exact quality assurance measures they employ to guarantee absolute customer satisfaction every time you use their language translation services.
Can They Provide References and Testimonials?
Do not allow yourself to be distracted by catchy marketing campaigns. Every agency will try to paint itself in the possible light, but you cannot simply take their word for it.
Ask for references and be sure to follow up to get a feel for what you can experience. Quiz them on their experience with the agency’s language translation services and encourage them to be very candid in their response.
Examining and evaluating feedback from other clients who have had experience working with a translation company will give you great insights on what you can reasonably expect, and will help you make a better-informed decision.
What are Their Data Security and Confidentiality Procedures?
What, if any, security compliance protocols do the translation company have in place? This is a very crucial consideration especially if your content contains information of a very sensitive and confidential nature.
How is your content handled? Does the agency employ the services of freelancers and how do they ensure that these freelancers adhere to set security standards? Where will your content be stored while it is still in the hands of the agency? How many hands will have access to and handle your documents before they get back to you?
These are just but a few of the pertinent questions that any agency should satisfactorily answer to prove that they can indeed guarantee the security and confidentiality of your content. It is not enough to simply say it; put the agency to a task to provide proof of concept that indeed they have working measures in place and you can rest assured of your data security.
The search for a professional and reliable language translation service provider can be quite frustrating. You want an agency that can deliver quality content and will meet your specific needs. You also want them to confidently assure you of the security of your data.
These and more such criteria will help you find a language translations service provider for your project among the overwhelming number of translation companies in the market. As you will discover, it is not all about the price when it comes to professional translation services.
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