Translation requires more than simply speaking two languages. From knowing about your industry to providing efficient, error-free services in theirs, translators need specialist skillsets. With so many professionals to choose from, how do you know which language service provider (LSP) is right for your project?
Why businesses need to choose carefully
When you need a document to be translated, chances are you won’t speak both the source language (original) and target language (translation) fluently. So, how do you know that the translation is correct?
Clients put their trust in translation agencies to produce accurate texts that capture the exact meaning of the original document. Whether you’re looking for precise, legal translations for court or creative marketing texts for a new campaign, there are similar factors to take into account when choosing a translator.
What you need to know before choosing a translation agency:
1) The range of services
Translations don’t all come in the same shape and size. One client might request a translation for a slogan to help their brand expand abroad. Another might need bulk translations of highly technical scientific documents.
These two types of translations need different approaches.
The first needs localization, changing the way the translation is worded to create the same effect on the new audience in a new region. In-depth cultural and marketing knowledge is key here. The second type requires a scientific understanding of both subject and terminology.
When looking at a translation agency, find out which services they offer before you engage them. This might include standard translation, localization, transcription, subtitling, and more.
2) Specialist areas
It’s important to know that the company you choose has expertise in the right area. Some agencies will specialize in certain languages and subject areas, such as medical or legal fields.
The agency’s website should be a good indicator of the types of projects they usually work on, but if you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out.
3) Translation technologies
Gone are the days when translators had only dictionaries to assist them. Today, language professionals have a wide range of digital tools at their disposal.
Some of these help with the translation itself. For example, translation glossaries store pre-approved words and phrases to help with consistency. Other tools streamline processes for efficient project management or monitor quality control.
The translation agency will be able to talk you through their processes and the tools they use confidently.
4) Accreditations and standards
Like many industries, translation companies can work to a set of standards drawn up by the International Standards Organization (ISO).
For example, ISO 17100 is awarded to companies who can demonstrate they have the processes and resources to deliver a “translation service that will meet the client’s and other applicable specifications”, amongst other criteria.
Language service providers might also work to ISO standards for quality management.
5) Who will work on your project
Translators and localization specialists are usually native speakers with an in-depth knowledge of the local customs and culture, which inform their work. However, don’t take this for granted. You can find out from the translation agency the relevant qualifications or experiences of the translators.
Translation agencies aren’t only made up of translators, however. Project managers, IT specialists, and more come together to deliver successful projects. It’s a good idea to enquire about who your point of contact will be for the project so that you know how to get in touch with them going forward.
6) Technical expertise
As technology advances, so do the places we see translations. If you’re working on a technical project, you can find a translation agency with relevant expertise, for example for a live website integration or video game translation. Why not find testimonials or case studies that you can look into where the agency has worked on a similar project?
Future Group – Who we are
Our team is made up of native-speaking translators, skilled IT engineers, and expert project managers who can oversee translations and localizations of any size.
We’re an ISO 17100-certified company with over 25 years’ experience in translation. To get started, simply send us a message with details of your project.