With the growing recognition of the importance of translation and localization, there are more translation companies out there than ever before, making it difficult to decide which to choose. When choosing a translation company, you will need to know that you can trust your translator to complete your project accurately, within your deadline, and in line with your requirements. You may be worried about brand consistency, you may have large or sensitive projects, or you may require specific expertise. It can feel overwhelming with all the options to choose the translation that’s the best fit for you and your company. To help you out, we have put together a list of some of the most crucial tips for how to choose the best translation company.
7 tips for choosing the best translation company
1. Make sure the translation agency can also do localization
For a translation agency to be successful, it needs to understand its target market and be able to not only translate but localize your content as well. Without localization, the translated material might not get the message across to your target market. For example, a Brazilian Portuguese audience will need different messaging or use different phrasing than a European Portuguese audience. Using a company that employs native translators from your target market to ensure that your content is properly localized is crucial for success.
2. Ensure the translation company has quality assurance processes
You wouldn’t trust just anyone to handle your translations, which is why you are searching for a professional translation company in the first place. However, even using a vetted translator isn’t enough. Translators are humans, and they also make mistakes. On the flip side, a translation company may give you the option to use MT, and of course, machines can make mistakes just as humans do, especially when it comes to sounding human and localizing the content. That’s why you should ensure that the company you choose also utilizes professional editors and has review processes in place to ensure the quality of the translated material, whether it be a second translator checking the first’s work, a project manager’s review, or NMTPE.
3. You should be able to reach customer support 24/7 in any language
Another key sign of professionalism is a translation company’s customer service. If an agency is available to you at all hours, you know you can rely on them to handle any issues that may arise. Try contacting a translation company you want to try out via email, phone, or chat and see how long it takes them to reply, and how satisfied you are with their assistance. The way they handle your initial inquiry is a good way to measure how they will support you as a customer.
Additionally, a translation company should know how important it is to be able to communicate with their customers in their own language. If the company you have your eye on provides multilingual support, that’s a good sign for their overall ability to provide good translation and localization services. At BLEND, for instance, we utilize Zendesk to enable our support agents to respond to our customers in any language with the help of our team of translators or MT.
4. The translation company should have industry and subject matter experts
Obviously, translators do have a lot of common knowledge of the world, and a native-level understanding of the language and culture that are translating for. However, a good translation company will have experts in specific fields like finance, medical, marketing, or technical translation. These experts ensure the proper terminology is used in the target language so your content sounds as professional as it did in the original language. Check the company’s website or try to open a project and see if they have translators with the expertise your project requires. A proper translating company will have a knowledgeable team who can easily tackle any subject matter thrown at them.
5. Your translation company and its translators should have the proper certifications
While it may not seem so difficult, translation is far from easy. It requires certain skills, courses, and certificates to reach the highest levels. Not to mention a whole load of experience with translating different subjects. All translation companies must have a team of certified experts in the languages and expertise they offer. Different companies have different certification processes and qualifications, so you should look into how a company vets their translators and what types of certification or testing they require of their translators before they begin sending them customer projects.
Additionally, the translation company itself should have certifications listed on its website. Keep an eye out for an ISO 9001, 17100, or 27001 badge, which shows that the company is upholding high standards for the delivery of their translation services and meets data protection standards as well, which means they’ll keep your information safe.
6. Check how fast the company can complete your translation
Besides quality, one of the most crucial factors you’ll likely pay attention to is how fast your translation is finished. Whether you have a deadline for a project at work, need to submit a visa application, or just don’t have the patience to wait for your translation, you’ll want to find a translation company that does their job as quickly and efficiently.
Request a quote for a project and see what the estimated delivery time is so you can understand about how long your translation will take and whether the company you’re considering can deliver in the timeframe necessary. Many companies also have the option to pay a small extra fee for expedited delivery, so if you know you’ll need a very fast turnaround, this may be something to consider when choosing your translation company.
7. Look into reputation, reviews, and references
Of course, if you’ve researched all of the above and still are having trouble choosing between all the translation companies out there, you can always see what others have said about a company to understand if it will be a good fit. Check the company’s website for customer testimonials or case studies to see what kind of work they’ve done in the past. To get the full scope it’s best to also check review websites like G2 or TrustPilot to see if their previous customers are satisfied.
Do a quick Google search as well to see what kind of information or news articles are out there. Have they been featured in major language industry publications by Slator or Multilingual Magazine? If so, this likely means they are legitimate and have a good reputation in the industry.
You can also ask around and see if your trusted friends or colleagues have recommendations for a good translation company they have worked within the past.
Final Verdict: Choose the best translation company to check all your boxes
We went through some of the crucial factors you need to keep in mind when you decide to hand over your project to a translation company. If the options still feel overwhelming, BLEND can tick all these boxes and meet your translation needs. Whether you need official and certified translation, business translation, machine translation, or human translation, BLEND covers it all, and much more!
Have questions? Talk to our team.