Whether you’re just starting to research language service providers or you’re evaluating the performance of current translation services, it can be tough to know where to start. Your choice of translation agency will influence every piece of your global campaign, from internal process to product launch to marketplace results. How do you know you’ve hired the best provider for the job?
Here are five things to look for in a translation services provider worth its salt.
The translation process doesn’t take place in a vacuum: it’s only one component of a larger strategy to meet ambitious international goals. A logjam in translation can hold up an entire team: for example, agile software developers often have a 24 hour window for translation before moving forward with a sprint. Likewise, delays in a globalized press release can cause a marketing manager to miss his or her deadline and hurt the whole department’s performance. A reliable translation agency will meet deadlines for emails, meeting requests, and price quotes every time. And in the case that larger and more complex assignments have longer turnaround times, a strong vendor will set realistic expectations from day one. This way your whole team can keep buzzing at its top pace to meet big picture goals in your global strategy.
Understanding how a translation vendor handles the client review process, translation memory management, complex file formats like user interface (UI) text strings, and project updates will provide a peace of mind about your upcoming translation needs. A well-considered consultation will set a strong foundation for the project, from foreseeing potential challenges to advising on the best approach and timeline. For example, many global businesses don’t expect that their translation into German will increase the text strings by 40% and no longer fit the existing design template. Such cases will require reformatting or alternate designs from the beginning. Such roadblocks can be planned for in a consultation with skilled and experienced translation professionals, giving you the most impact for your time and money.
Technology capabilities and vendor experience
While many translation projects are straightforward and will go off without a hitch, you never know when issues will arise during project creation, translation, or output. To make your life easier in the long haul, look for an agency that can support integrations with your existing technology platforms. Does the vendor have tools for automatically routing your website content to its translators and back again? From client portals and translation memory to QA testing environments and terminology management, high tech processes will improve efficiency, organization and ease of use for your team.
Total cost ownership beyond pricing sheets
The old adage holds true in the translation world: you get what you pay for. When comparing quotes, be sure to look beyond the sticker price to analyze level of service, support and end result. A cost per word quote may look like the most affordable option, but are you getting the same quality product? Will there be surprise costs down the line? Call on your team’s business managers to review requirements and identify the true overall cost. Often the quote with the highest level of transparency and detail will reflect the most predictable and highest value solution.
Sample translations and references
A sample can provide an accurate indication of a single linguist’s abilities, however it doesn’t demonstrate the full capacity of a translation agency. In addition to the sample translation, consider a vendor’s ability to provide consultation, transparent pricing, and quality checkpoints throughout the translation cycle. In some instances, a vendor will monitor linguist performance continually. In other instances, a vendor will provide clients with translation workflow reports to help them manage the quality of their translations.
Finally, make the most educated decision by asking for references. Current translation clients can offer honest input about their experiences and what has and hasn’t gone well for them with their translation projects. Armed with references and sample translations, take a quick review of the agency’s responsiveness, technology platform, consultation and price quote for a well-informed decision. Choosing the right vendor is your first step to global success.
Smarter translation with Acclaro
Our team begins every project with a thorough consultation to address your full range of globalization needs. With well-defined project management, advanced technological capabilities and transparent pricing, we take the surprises out of your translation process. Acclaro’s top industry professionals have honed our craft over years of rigorous training and on-the-ground experience, bringing together streamlined processes and unparalleled personalized attention for translation service you can trust. Contact us today for a custom quote.