GTE Localize

5 Signs of A Bad Translation Agency

Posted by Anne Q. on June 24, 2020.

Do you think you are working with a bad translation agency? As your business expands, the need for content translation and localization increases with the aim of connecting your company with global audiences. Besides costs, your company face many tricky questions – Who should you put your trust in with your content – Translation agencies or Freelance translators? How can you tell which translation agencies are good and which ones are bad? To help you avoid costly mistakes in the translation process, we will discuss 5 signs of a bad translation agency in today’s post.

1. Price

It is undoubtedly that every company expects to achieve a cost-effective translation, i.e. translation that has the highest quality at the lowest price. But does that mean your company should work with whatever translation agency offers the lowest rate? The answer is a definite no. A great and experienced translator will never accept a ridiculously low rate. Because quality and price are proportionate. Thus, it’s a red flag if you encounter a translation agency that offers a too low price. In this case, you should think twice and do thorough research to make sure you are not paying the wrong person.

The question is how to determine whether a rate is low or high. The first thing you can do is to contact some translation agencies, ask them for a quote, and compare the average rates those agencies offer. Besides, acknowledging what factors affect the translation costs is highly recommended. You should look into the rarity of the language pairs or the living standards in the translators’ countries for better estimation.


2. Turn-Around Time

Everyone wants a translation with a quick turnaround time. But in most cases, you have to exchange quality for speed. If you receive your translated files back too quick, there’s a chance that the translation company you are working with use a machine to translate your files, not professional translators. Machine translation is fast. But it cannot fully understand the context of a document; therefore, it can only give you a poor outcome. In a typical translation process, at least one translator translates and self-reviews the content, before two other linguists edit and proofread it. This process takes time.


3. Reviews

The experience of people who have worked with or for a translation agency can be a valuable source for your decision. If the agency receives numerous negative feedback on their translations’ quality, communication, or turn-around time, it is likely to be a bad translation agency that you should stay away from. Of course, there’s a possibility that some of the reviews are not 100% accurate or made by the agency’s competitors. However, it’s still a bad sign and you need to be cautious.

What’s more, reading the reviews from translators who have collaborated with that translation agency is highly recommended. You can check platforms specialized for translators like ProZ to see the real working experience of translators for a specific agency. Why do you have to do that? – You may ask. Imagine you work with an agency having all good reviews from clients but various negative rates from translators. That means they are not paying translators good enough, or on time, or in the worst case, they don’t pay translators at all. A good translation agency must show their respect to both clients and translators who bring them great values.


4. Communication

Responsive support from the translation agency is a key factor for a successful translation project. During your testing time with an agency, pay attention to the way they respond to your questions. Do they answer your questions with full and clear information? Is the responding time too long? At this stage, the agency is trying to convince you to pick them so they will show their best to you. If at this very point, their communication is already bad, you shouldn’t expect too much on the following process.


5. Confidentiality

Another sign for a bad translation agency is its poor confidential policy. The confidentiality of a document is of great importance. A good translation agency will proactively remind you about the NDA or be willing to sign it when you ask. If the translation agency you are planning on working with doesn’t mention anything about confidentiality, be aware and question them. Because you cannot afford to have your sensitive financial reports or new product introduction documents leaked.

In short, you need to pay attention to small details to figure out some red flags of a bad translation agency. Considering thoroughly all factors before deciding who to work with will save you a great deal of both time and money.

With a pool of experienced native translators who have been tested and evaluated on a regular basis, GTE Localize is confident to bring you best-in-class translations in a wide range of language pairs at a competitive price. We have a team of dedicated and responsive PMs who helps your translation projects run smoothly and on time. We are willing to go the extra mile, sometimes even more than asked for, to provide the best solution for our clients.

Professional translation services

Get a 1:1 free consultancy with our localization experts and get your translation projects kicked off today!