For many companies or individuals that find themselves in need of a professional translation service, the prospect of choosing the right high-quality translation provider can be rather daunting. If your content is being translated into a language you yourself don’t understand, there is an element of trust as you aren’t able to verify the quality of the work yourself.
The abundance of information online can be overwhelming for those working with translators for the first time. Perhaps you’ve come across terms like CAT tools and localisation while browsing through translation agency websites and been left feeling confused, but all is not lost! Our simple guide to what to look for when hiring a translation service will help you find the right translator for you.
Be specific about your language requirements
Let’s start with language combinations. Many translation agencies specialise in specific languages, such as European languages like French and Italian or Asian languages like Korean and Japanese, whilst others that have a larger pool of translators offer a seemingly endless list of language combinations.
It is crucial that your translator is specialised in the right regional dialect for your needs. For example, if your company is branching out into the Latin American market, working with European Spanish translators is not going to be appropriate. Be specific with your translation agency about the regional details of your target audience and make sure that they have linguists who are experienced with the dialects your project requires.
Look for translators specialised in the appropriate subject matter
Linguistic knowledge is just one piece of the translation puzzle; your translator should also be knowledgable about the subject matter of the text to be translated. If you need a contract translated, you should work with a legal translator experienced in contracts whereas a marketing translator would be a more suitable choice for your publicity content. Working with a specialised translator will ensure translations of a higher quality.
When researching translation service providers focus on those that specialise in the type of translation you need, and feel free to ask them about their previous clients, which will give you a better idea about the kinds of translation they have experience doing, and the profiles of their translators.
Read reviews with a critical eye
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to translation agencies that are experts in your subject area and language combinations, it’s time to focus on their reputations. Take a good look at their website and social media pages, particularly focussing on customer reviews and feedback. Read the reviews thoughtfully, with a clear idea of the kind of company you’re looking for.
Do you need an agency that can turn around translations very quickly? Or would an agency with a reputation for strong communication with the clients suit you better? Also, pay attention to the types of clients they have worked with; are they similar to your company? Approaching this information with a clear idea of your own needs with make it much easier to process what is relevant to you and your needs.
Consider requesting a sample translation
Providing a translation agency with a short sample text (around 300 words is standard) for them to translate, which you may or may not be asked to pay for, is a great way of checking the quality of the work and confirming if they are the right fit for your translation needs. Be realistic with what to expect from a free test translation; don’t expect a translator to translate pages and pages of text for free, especially if the job on offer is a small project. That being said, many translators are happy to provide short samples and it’s a useful step in finding the right high-quality translation service.
Be clear on the service that you expect
Ask for details on what the translation company offers, and be clear about what you need. Will you require extra services such as proofreading or localisation? Don’t be afraid to ask the agency for details of their service, for example, is proofreading performed by a second qualified translator? This is recommended as human error is natural and the more eyes on a text the better. The bottom line is that clear communication will lead to a better working relationship and, ultimately, a better final product.
As an experienced translation agency with highly-qualified translators located around the globe, BeTranslated could be the right translation service provider for you. Check out our past clients and some of our translator bios to get a clearer picture of the work we do. If you still have questions or are interested in a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch! We look forward to working with you.