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5 Things to Look for in a Language Service Provider

5 things to look for in a language service provider

Understanding each other through language is one of our most powerful tools. It helps us convey our thoughts, experiences, and emotions. It also allows us to connect with others, build relationships, and exchange information. Language barriers exist when translation or interpretation between languages is inaccurate or non-existent.

In the business world, language translation is a tool that can be used to build international relationships, expand into new markets, and better serve customers. One way to ensure your business uses translation effectively is to work with a professional language services provider (LSP).

There are many LSPs out there, but not all of them are created equal. Here are five things to look for when choosing a provider:

1. Localized Languages

The first thing you should look for in an LSP is whether they can provide services in the languages you need. If you’re targeting a specific country or region, you’ll want to know if the provider can work in the local language. That includes understanding the culture and being able to translate idiomatic expressions properly.

For example, French in Quebec is vastly different from French in France, to the point where campaigns that work in one market may not be effective in the other. An LSP with experience in both markets would be able to help you adapt your content, so it resonates with your target audience.

During translation and localization, an LSP will also tailor the text so that references to pop culture, current events, or personalities are correctly understood in the target market. This ensures your content will be relatable and won’t be at risk of sounding out-of-touch or insensitive.

There are few ways to get around the fact that effective localization and translation require a deep understanding of both the source and target cultures. For this reason, it’s better to work with an LSP that has a vast network of natively fluent translators and editors available.

These experts will be able not only to translate your content but also ensure that it’s accurately conveyed to and by your target audience.

2. Scalability

Next, you’ll want to consider an LSP’s scalability. As your business grows, you’ll likely need to increase the amount of content you’re translating.

Working with an LSP that can handle your current and future volume is essential. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting weeks or even months for your content to be translated. This can lead to lost opportunities and frustrated customers.

Machine Translation (MT) can help scalability by increasing translation speed while maintaining quality. However, it’s not a silver bullet. Artificial intelligence is not yet advanced enough to replace human translators for complex aspects of writing.

An LSP that can offer a Machine Translation Post Edit workflow that includes a human editor may be a good fit for your needs. This hybrid approach combines the best of both worlds, using MT to speed up the process while ensuring quality with human oversight.

Your chosen LSP should never have to sacrifice quality for speed or vice versa. Thus, you’ll want an established company with access to dozens of translators and a proven workflow to accommodate large projects on a tight deadline. Your content will be translated accurately and quickly, no matter how much volume you need.

3. Quality

Of course, speed and scalability are meaningless if your content isn’t accurate. You must choose an LSP with a robust quality assurance (QA) process. Ideally, your provider should have multiple steps in their QA process. For example, the PGLS GlobalCheck includes:

  • Translation by a native speaker
  • Editing/Proofreading by a subject matter expert
  • Post-project audits
  • Professional project management

This process helps catch any errors, ensure the meaning is preserved, and verifies that the finished product sounds natural. It’s also essential to have someone checking for cultural appropriateness and making sure your content will resonate with your target audience.

In business, even a tiny mistake can have big consequences. It’s essential to choose an LSP with a robust quality assurance (QA) process to avoid any costly errors. From grammatical errors to cultural faux pas, a good QA process will catch anything that could potentially sabotage your content.

When hiring an LSP, it can be challenging to see what goes on behind the scenes. Hiring a company with an established quality control process and ISO certification will help ensure a smooth process with excellent results.  

4. Industry Experience and Accuracy

One of the most important things to look for in a language service provider is accuracy. Inaccurate translations can lead to lost opportunities, frustrated customers, and even legal problems. For example, mistranslating a medical document could have dangerous consequences.

If your company or organization has industry-specific jargon or technical translation needs, look for an LSP with access to linguists with industry experience. PGLS has access to more than 5000 language partners. Our professional linguists bring experience from a vast range of industries, which gives us the power to match your company with the best resources to ensure high-quality, accurate translations.

5. Range of Services

Finally, it’s essential to find a language service provider that offers various linguistic services and can adapt to your specific needs. Your business is unique, and you should be able to find an LSP that can cater to your particular requirements.

Look for an LSP that offers a full range of linguistic services, such as translation, interpretation, localization, and language training. They should also offer various language pairs so you can get the content you need in the language you need it in.

It’s also best to find an LSP with excellent customer service. You should be able to get in touch with someone easily if you have any questions or concerns. After all, this will most likely be an ongoing relationship, and you want to be able to build a good rapport with your provider.

Send them an email or give them a call and see how quickly they respond. Ask your questions and see if they can provide helpful and accurate answers.

Look for an LSP that’s transparent about its pricing. They should have a clear and concise pricing structure, or an easy way to get a quote. It’s also a good idea to ask for quotes from multiple providers so you can compare prices.

Choose PGLS

With a decade of experience delivering quality language services, PGLS has the expertise to deliver exceptional language services. We’re ISO-certified, and our process is designed to deliver accurate, error-free results.

We offer a full range of linguistic services, including translation, interpretation, and language training. By supporting over 200 languages and regional dialects, PGLS can provide the content you need in the language you need it in.

We’re also proud of our excellent customer service. Our team is always available to answer your questions and address your concerns. Our team is here to help you every step of the way. Finally, deadlines are essential to us. We’ll work with you to ensure your project is completed on time and within budget.

Bottom Line

As the world becomes more connected, businesses need to be able to communicate with customers and partners in different languages. Don’t let a language barrier get in the way of your success. Find a language service provider that can help you reach new markets.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.

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PGLS – Every Word Matters

Based in the greater Washington, D.C. area with team members across the world, Piedmont Global Language Solutions (PGLS) leverages nearly 25 years of language service experience to consistently deliver on-time, accurate, and personalized language service solutions to numerous companies and government agencies. Backed by our industry-leading processes and resources, PGLS offers Translation, Interpretation, Transcription, Language Training, and Localization in more than 450 language combinations.

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1010 N Glebe Road, STE 450,
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 1-877-897-4858
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