Maybe you’re a small business looking for translation services in DC, LA, or even Utah; or maybe you are a well-established brand who needs a translation agency to help you tap into new markets. Either way, you need to find a reliable translation provider. Gone are the days translation was only required by huge global corporations. Today, we have a global digital society at our fingertips and communities full of rich, diverse cultures and languages. The need for reliable business translation services has never been so vital. So, how do you choose a translation partner that will compliment your business and help you to reach your potential? Here are some key tips to keep in mind:
Business Translation Services: Understanding Your Needs
It’s unrealistic hoping to find the perfect language service provider (LSP) for your business until you assess and establish your specific translation needs, now and in the future. Translation is more than swapping one word for another. There are so many specializations! From medicine and industry-specific technical translations that require expert industry knowledge and training, to transcreation services, often used for marketing that require creativity, as well as in-market advertising expertise.
- The first step is to define what type of translations you require: Marketing translations for websites, social media, or ad campaigns? If you’re hoping to expand into foreign markets, you may need legal translation services to help you comply with your responsibilities in each new jurisdiction.
- Do you handle specialized materials such as technical manuals or medical texts that need to be deciphered by linguists experienced in this area? Technical translations require a high level of precision and contextual knowledge and that should be reflected in your choice of LSP.
- The next step is to decide which language combinations you are likely to need. Always do your market research. Assuming everyone speaks English, for example, is a mistake too many companies make. There are many within our communities and internet users that don’t speak English, and many more that have another mother tongue. To ignore this demographic, or underestimate it, will only hold your business back.
- Know your options: Some businesses choose to rely on crowdsourced translation platforms. These services can offer a cheap alternative for large volume translations, but there are significant concessions made when it comes to accuracy, consistency, and quality control standards versus professional business translation services.
Native Speaking Translators
Once you understand your needs, it’s time to consider localization and cultural adaptation. Straight forward translations of text documents have their place, but when you’re looking to entice new customers from different language markets, you want personalized and market-specific services like localization and transcreation. Check out our blog on ‘How to Localize Your Software: Key Tips for Success’ for hints and tips on how to make the most out of your localization efforts. Resonating with your new audience in a way that feels as personal to them as your original content is the aim here.
To achieve this, only consider translation service providers who employ native speaking, in-market translators; guaranteeing the level of cultural sensitivity that your important marketing material deserves. Who would entrust a person with no experience of baseball to write an advertisement for baseball gear? Similarly, you should expect that your localization team has a real, in-market understanding of your target market. The end result? Properly localized content that’s just as engaging for your new language audience as it is for your local customers.
Great time and resource management are cornerstones upon which any proficient translation agency is built. Efficient project management may not seem that important when you’re looking for business translation services, but to cultivate a productive and reliable relationship with your translation partner, you need to be sure they’re ready and able to handle any project and timescale you may have.
- TMS systems manage multiple, complex translation requests in real time, allow project managers to more efficiently assign jobs, monitor progress, review and keep your team in the loop at all times, making a tangible difference.
- CAT Tools: You want to have a translation team with access to regularly updated translation memories and glossaries. Having previous translation segments and terminologies leveraged against the cost of future translations ensures you are never charged for the same translation twice.
TMS systems and CAT tools are just some of the advancing technologies driving translation service provision into the future. Download our free white paper ‘The Evolution of Technology Solutions in the Language Industry’ to learn more.
Always ask your service provider what workflow systems and procedures they have in place. To find out why this matters, check out our blog ‘Translation Technology: How Does it Help Your Business’. Having dedicated project managers and making use of innovative, time efficient workflow systems lets translation agencies offer streamlined business translation services, from start to finish, time and again.
Never be afraid to ask prospective translation providers about their quality control measures. With every translator in the world promising ‘high quality’ it can feel daunting trying to find a reputable, reliable provider. Only choose a translation service with multi-step quality control processes in place. Each project should be thoroughly reviewed and edited.
Your ideal translation partner should adhere to industry standards and be certified by a recognized international standards organization, such as ISO or ASTM. Why not check out our Quality Control Measures at PGLS. Not only are we ISO 9001:2015 certified, we’ve created GlobalCheck®: our own, fully integrated, metrics-based Quality Management System (QMS).
Ask what data protection, information security, and confidentiality policies are in place. From sensitive brand and marketing materials to medical records and legal documentation, you want to know that your content is as safe with your LSP as it is in your own hands. Does your provider have consistent confidentiality agreements with their translators and in-house staff? What data protection standards do they adhere to? Standards and legal requirements often change with legal jurisdiction, so it’s always worth checking.
Finally, arguably, one of the most important considerations: customer service. How thoroughly your provider assesses the needs of your business and translation project will have a big impact on the final result. Building a good rapport with your LSP is so important and can help you decide whether this partnership will work.
Don’t forget to check reviews and testimonials too, to see what other customers think. These often provide great insight into the quality of business translation services you can expect. Remember, the best translation service provider is one who listens to your needs, to help you to achieve your goals.