Finding a translation service partner can be challenging because translations are subjective. Each translation work is unique, thus you should keep that in mind while searching for a translation service partner. While the cost of translation matters, what you want to find is a translator or an agency that will do more for you than just translating the content from one language to another.
By having a translation partner, you have a company or individual that works to provide you with a service of higher value at the best price. It may cost more but you gain more.
A translation partner will focus on the details of the project, like consistency, right formatting, native-speaking translator, subject matter expertise, precision, accuracy, use of terminology, and more.
The long-term relationship you build will become more beneficial, as your translation partner understands your products and services more. The relationship becomes easier, and you do not need to make long and detailed explanations about what you need and expect. As a regular client, you likewise understand the processes of your translation partner and can prepare your documents in a manner that will speed up the translation process.
By having a translation service partner, you will get translations of the highest quality consistently, which will be more cost effective for your company.
The best practices of a good translation service provider
Almost all companies and organizations have their best practices. Some may follow a common set of standards. Others develop their own, according to their organization’s culture and industry sector.
What do you consider a best practice? The standard definition is that best practice is a technique or way that an organization generally accepts as a superior method because it can produce the best results compared to other means. It can also mean the accepted way of doing things, such as complying with ethical or legal requirements.
Here are the best practices many translation companies follow.
- Always translate into your mother tongue. It is the language the translator is fluent in, so he/she understands the language and its nuances.
- Knowledge of the formal aspects of the target language, like grammar, capitalization, spelling, syntax, and punctuation.
- Meet the deadlines set by clients.
- Use CAT tools to make translations consistent and high-quality.
- Have knowledge of the cultural aspects of the source and target languages.
- Understand the purpose of the translation.
- Do the preliminary research and use reference materials.
- Understand the target audience.
- Follow the requirements of the client: document format, terminology, and dialect.
- Continuing education, certification, and up-to-date in industry trends and technical developments.
- Have quality assurance in place: editor, proofreader, desktop publisher.
You should keep in mind that the best practices vary, depending on the subject or type of translation. For example, the best practices for medical translation may differ from the best practices for business or legal translation.
Checklist for evaluating translation services
If you are new to translation services, it’s challenging to find a good language services provider without knowing what characteristics to look for. You can refer to this checklist to find the qualities of the translation provider that will meet your needs and expectations.
- The provider must be financially secure. You should know if the company is profitable and growing.
- What is their pricing scheme? What are the payment options they offer?
- It should have a network of native-speaking translators. There is a difference between a translator who learned the language and one who speaks the language natively. A superior translation provider requires their translators to translate into their native language only.
- Find out the qualifications of the translators. They should have at least five years’ experience as a translator and have relevant experience and background in specific subject matters.
- Check the company for their accreditation and certifications. Some specialized translations require certified translators, such as in medical translation, which require HIPAA certification. The agency should also have industry accreditation. Find out if they have accreditation with some of these organizations: the American Translators Association (ATA), National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), Association of Translation Companies (ATC), The International Federation of Translators (FIT), or The Association of Language Companies (ALC).
- Further, check if they are ISO 17100 and ISO9001 certified.
- Find out if they have global operations and provide customer support 24/7.
- Check if they have industry specializations. You should also check how many languages they work with, or if they specialize in specific languages.
- Find out if they sign no-disclosure agreements. Likewise, inquire about their client privacy and data security protocols, workflow process, and quality assurance system.
- Inquire if their translators use translation memory tools and CAT tools.
- Check how they conduct training, industry updates, and continuing education.
- Inquire about their turnaround time and the maximum volume of translation work they can handle.
How do I choose the right translation service?
Choosing the right translation service will depend on your requirements. You should check the agency’s specialization, in subject matter and language pairs. You should know how much they charge (per word or per page), and their company policies. You need to find out if the rate they charge includes translation only or it includes editing, proofreading, and desktop publishing. Use the checklist above to determine what will fit your current needs. Do you need a translation service for a single project or you need one that can handle several project orders? This is another deciding factor when you choose a translation service provider.
Are you looking for a translation service partner? Give us a call!
Get in touch with us at eTranslation Services if you are looking for a translation service partner. We have subject matter experts and native-speaking translators in many parts of the world. Our translators have the right background, industry experience and the certifications required to handle different types of translation projects, from standard document translations to medical, legal, business, financial, and educational to immigration, technical, and localization. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (800) 882-6058 to know more.