GTE Localize

15 Factors To Choose A Professional Translation Company

Posted by Ethan N. on August 14, 2023.

Businesses often seek to reach global audiences. However, language barriers can be a significant hurdle. Whether you’re expanding your business, publishing content for diverse readers, or handling legal matters across borders, the need for accurate translation is imperative. While there are numerous translation companies available, it’s crucial to select the right one for your unique needs. Below, we detail eight 15 factors to consider when choosing a professional translation company.

1. Utilize Human Capacity and Technology

Human Touch: A professional translator can grasp nuances, tones, and cultural contexts that machines often miss. Human translation provides authenticity and precision.

Technological Edge: With advances in AI and machine learning, translation software can speed up the process and handle massive projects. A professional translation agency will use technology as a complementary tool, not a complete replacement.

2. Accredited and Certified

Choosing a professional translation company that has industry accreditations guarantees that they adhere to global standards. Look for certifications from associations like the American Translators Association or ISO certifications that indicate a commitment to quality. Exercise caution with companies that profess compliance with these certifications without official accreditation or independent audits. Most certified agencies will provide information about their accreditation and the respective auditing bodies on their websites.

3. Global Offices with Relevant Locations

When choosing a professional translation company, it’s wise to take into account the agency’s office locations. If your target market is Southeast Asia or Germany, working with an agency with project managers situated in these areas can provide both your local and global teams with direct contacts during regular business hours.

Having project managers in the vicinity of your intended audience enhances their ability to tap into local talent efficiently and negotiate better terms. Always request direct communication with the staff in these local regions, and ensure they represent genuine offices rather than merely virtual placeholders on a map.

4. Customer Services

A company’s responsiveness, willingness to provide revisions, and open communication channels speak volumes about their professionalism. Good customer service ensures a smooth process and is indicative of the company’s commitment to client satisfaction.

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5. Industry Specialization

Different industries have unique terminologies and nuances. Choose a professional translation company that specializes in your industry, whether it’s medical, legal, technical, or financial. This ensures accurate and contextually appropriate translations.

6. Approach to Vetting Translators

The quality of the translation is only as good as the translator. Ensure the professional translation company has a stringent vetting process. They should hire translators with relevant qualifications, experience, and subject-matter expertise.

7. NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements)

Confidentiality is vital, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive information. Ensure that the translation agency is willing to sign an NDA to safeguard your data and content.

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8. Dedicated Project Management

A dedicated project manager ensures that your project remains on track. They will be your point of contact, handle queries, and ensure timelines are met. This streamlines the process and guarantees a personalized touch.

9. Guidelines for Quality Assurance

Before your translation is delivered, it undergoes an ISO 17100 and ISO9001 certified quality assurance process. This involves:

(1) Ensuring every part of your document or online project has been translated.

(2) Performing segment testing for localized online content.

(3) Confirm that all specific requests have been addressed.

If there are oversights, errors in the localization, or missed special requests, these should be logged in the translation agency‘s workflow management system and escalated to senior project managers. Following a thorough review, the senior project manager should give feedback to the project team, paving the way for enhanced performance in the future.

10. Client Review

Feedback from previous clients can provide insights into the company’s quality of work, professionalism, and reliability. Look for testimonials, case studies, and online reviews. You can check on B2B review platforms such as Goodfirms, ProZ, etc. Direct references can also be invaluable.

11. Robust Workflow Management System

Efficient management of a translation project is paramount. A company should employ an organized system to track progress, manage tasks, and streamline the overall process to ensure timely delivery.

12. Experience with Glossaries

Each industry and business boasts its distinct terminology or jargon. For global corporations, constructing glossaries in essential languages becomes imperative to guarantee uniformity in communication. Collaborating with a professional translation company proficient in curating and upkeeping glossaries is pivotal. This expertise not only ensures top-notch translations but also signifies their commitment to delivering exceptional value to clients. If you’re in the market for a provider to craft and oversee your glossaries, seek clarity on their methodologies and solicit feedback from clients who’ve availed of their services.

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13. Experience with Translation Memory (TM) Tools

Translation Memory (TM) tools are particularly beneficial for translations with significant repetitions. Say, for instance, you have various manuals with common terminology; you can leverage TM to reduce costs and maintain consistency across your projects. How does TM work? It stores every text segment in a database, and when that segment reappears, it’s automatically suggested, enabling the translator to either adopt the previous translation or, if needed, retranslate.

While most agencies employ TM tools, it’s worth noting that their usage isn’t universally standardized. This is analogous to glossaries, where maintaining them can sometimes fall by the wayside during a project’s evolution. Ensure your chosen agency has a clear process for TM management and ask for testimonials from content clients who’ve utilized their TM services.

14. Data Security and Confidentiality Processes and Policies

In addition to NDAs, ensure the professional translation company has secure systems in place to protect your data. This includes encrypted storage, secure data transmission protocols, and strict confidentiality policies for their staff.

15. Technology Integration Capabilities: API’s for your CMS, DAM, ERP, or Ecommerce Platform

Integration capabilities allow for a seamless workflow between your content management systems and the translation process. Whether you’re using a CMS, Digital Asset Management (DAM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), or an Ecommerce platform, the translation company should be able to integrate its services smoothly with your tech stack through APIs.

Conclusion

The realm of professional translation company is vast and varied. The right translation partner will not only understand languages but will also be technologically adept, security-conscious, and committed to quality at every stage. By keeping these additional factors in mind, you can further refine your selection criteria and ensure that you partner with a translation company that is truly aligned with your business’s unique needs and objectives.

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