Translation services are the backbone of global markets and communications. Businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals all depend on the services they get from professional translators.
Whether it is a website you are building or sending a message to another part of the world, you will need a professional agency to handle your translation services.
If you ever had to work with translating documents or emotional messages, you know that not any bilingual person can do the work. You need to invest time and effort into finding a reliable company that will take on your translation duties.
You could do it yourself but many things can go awry in the process of translation services.
Here’s the guide to follow while looking for the perfect translation agency to partner up with.
What to consider while choosing a translation agency?
Quality of the translation
Obviously, you need to take a look at the quality of the translation. Some agencies might have an option to request a quote or sample content.
You might think, “of course I know that quality is essential.”
But it’s more than just quality we’re talking about. A professional translation should include elements such as:
- Great grammar and spelling
- Excellent writing skills – Structuring the content
- Delivered message in cultural context
- Showcased expertise in the industry (if a specific one is present)
Certificates and References
We surely can’t tell you that the certifications mean a 100 percent guarantee of high-quality work, but lack of them will tell you about the unprofessionalism of the company.
You wouldn’t buy the bread that doesn’t have a health certification passed, would you? The same logic will turn on when purchasing a service from businesses.
Know your translation certifications. Here are two certifications that you should look out for:
- ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certification – regular quality assessments of the assigned translators and feedback from the customers.
- ISO 17100 – defines qualification of the staff, technical equipment, and the security standards the company must follow.
While you’re on it, don’t forget to see what previous customers have to say. Most of the translation agencies have a separate section for their client references and reviews.
Client feedback will give you an idea about how their workflow runs, and you’ll be able to see if they have expertise in your preferred industry.
Turnaround time can be tricky. You might think that a short turnaround time will be beneficial for your company; not spending a lot of money and having work done in a few hours or so sounds fine, right? No!
Turnaround time affects quality big-time. So you shouldn’t chase after the agency with the quickest turnaround rates but consider an option that has a balance of reasonable turnaround time and high-quality work.
Translation work isn’t just a one-time read, translate, write process. It requires proper and thorough checking.
Ensuring that the flow and use of language are optimised is one thing that some businesses overlook, but a good translator will not. And these things take time.
There are times where we need to translate personal legal documents or medical reports. Such information should remain private and confidential.
On a less serious note, some of us might need to translate personal business letters and messages, but don’t want to share them with anyone. Privacy is a crucial element of a satisfactory translation agency.
A good choice would be able to answer any queries of yours regarding privacy and have written documents that protect you from being a victim of privacy exploitation.
Industry-Specific Knowledge and Experience
This one might have a more significant impact on your decision when looking for a translation agency. Seeing that the translation services you found have a vast experience in your preferred niche, is happiness itself.
You won’t need to worry about them messing up certain terminologies. Plus, you don’t have to spend time explaining your business niche’s jargon like you’re a teacher guiding a student.
Finding an agency that is able to translate specifically for your industry will give you a huge advantage as everything would be more seamless and automatic.
In order to translate and deliver the message with details and emotional value, the translator should not only be familiar with the languages and culture, but with the subject as well. Without terminology and phrasing, translated work would look somewhat robotic and full of errors.
Customer Support and Communication
If you’re a business owner, you would already know that you want to provide your customers with the utmost best customer support. Striving to make communication easy for all goes a long way because your customers would get the help they need quickly.
The same concept applies here. Considering an agency that is above and beyond in their communication and support would make life easier for you.
If you find yourself spending way too much time just trying to get a question answered — stay clear from that one.
Do take into consideration the timezone as well. If you’re in Singapore, it would be best to engage a translation agency in Singapore instead.
Communication is the core of every relationship.
Evaluate your conversation and ask yourself:
- How quickly did the agency respond to your message? Their response time will show you how professional and determined are they about serving clients.
- How well did they explain their services to you? Professionals don’t rely solely on their website to do the explanation. They will take the time to make sure you understand their offer.
- Did they offer you different options and packages? The variety of packages and offers will show how they treat different clients and how they can tailor their work to suit your company more.
- Did they ask you about your vision, target audience, and the output format? A professional translator will never take up a task if they don’t have enough details from the client.
Price and Affordability
While the pricing should not be the only element you consider while choosing a translation services agency, it’s one of the most crucial ones.
- The low price doesn’t always mean bad service
- High price doesn’t always expect high-quality service
As we discussed in addressing the turnaround time, you should keep the balanced version of the price-quality ratio. Compare your findings and don’t just settle.
Cultural Know-hows and Barrier-handling
Translators need to know how to handle cultural barriers and differences. Without cultural know-hows, translators wouldn’t be able to paraphrase the emotional value or the terminology of the content.
Look for the agencies that carry this skillset and are able to showcase an extensive experience with handling cultural barriers.
When looking to partner with a translation agency, you need to combine all these eight things that create a reliable translation company.
Improve your communication on global levels and deliver messages with correct emotional expressions with a professional translation agency with these eight factors at the back of your mind.