Ultimate Guide to Find High-Quality Thai Translation Services
Are you in the process of finding Thai translation services for your company’s next projects but don’t know where to start? If your answer is yes, then you have found the right place. In this article, we will walk you through all main steps you need to do in order to find high-quality Thai translation resources.
#1. Know Your Two Options for Thai Translation Services
Technically, you have more than two choices for Thai translation services. You can work with university students who major in the Thai language or translation or collaborate with some expats you find on Facebook groups. They generally offer cheap rates, but the quality is questionable. Thus, we will not discuss these choices in this post and only focus on professional language providers who can guarantee high-quality Thai translations for you.
Professional Thai freelance translators
Professional Thai freelance translators are self-employed translators who work for a variety of clients as an independent contractor. They actively seek, contact, and support clients throughout the whole translation process (without any intermediary).
- In general, Thai freelance translators offer lower translation rates compared to Thai translation agencies.
- You can directly communicate and discuss issues with your Thai translators.
- You have to coordinate the project yourself. If you work with many Thai freelance translators at the same time, it will be challenging.
- A freelance translator cannot handle a full translation process, from translation, editing, proofreading, to DTP, LQA and LSO. You might have to work with many individuals who specialize in each of these steps.
A full translation process
- Freelance translators might not support all the tools you want (CAT Tools, Localization Management Platforms, QA Tools, etc.)
When to choose this option?
We recomend you cooperate with freelance translators if your Thai translation projects have small or moderate volume and you only need one or two language services.
Thai translation agencies
Thai translation agencies are companies that offer a variety of language services, such as translation, interpretation, localization, and consulting for Thai language pairs. They usually have a in-house translator team and/or a large network of freelance translators.
You will not work directly with Thai translators but communicating with the agency’s salespeople/account managers/program managers who will receive your translation request and assist you with your Thai translation projects.
- Thai translation agencies can offer a wide range of services (the full translation process we mentioned above).
- You don’t have to coordinate the project yourself. Project managers (PMs) from the agency will help you with this.
- They can handle numerous language pairs from/into Thai. Normally, a freelance translator can only work on one or two language pairs.
- They have high translation capacity as they can assign a project to a few translators to reduce the turnaround time.
- You will pay a higher price for services from translation agencies.
- As you communicate to the translators through an intermediary, the communication flow might take longer.
When to choose this option?
If you have a moderate or high volume of Thai translation project and/or you want to use multiple language services, we recommend you choose to work with Thai translation agencies.
#2. Understand How Your Thai Translation Partners Work
After you decide which type of translation partner you want to work with for your Thai translation projects, you should contact some potential candidates and ask them as many questions as possible with the aim to understand better their service options and working process.
Below is the list of questions you should ask your translation candidates:
Thai Translation Services
- What services do they offer? (Translation, Editing, Proofreading, Transcreation, DTP, etc.)
- What Thai language pairs do they provide?
- What is their service model? Do they charge per word or per page?
- What is their rate for each service?
- Do they offer discounts for new clients or high-volume Thai translation projects?
- How do they calculate the translation turnaround time?
- How much do they charge for rush translation projects?
- What is their translation process?
- Which steps require your involvement?
- Which CAT Tools do they support?
- Which tools are used for the quality control step?
- Which payment methods do they offer?
- Do you have to pay the full amount in advance?
#3. Test Your Thai Translation Partners’ Abilities
Once you have an overview of how each translation partner work, make a shorted list of candidates that you find suitable for your business working styles and expectation and evaluate their ability to handle your Thai translation projects.
Check their qualifications and experience
To make sure that you are working with skilled native Thai translators, you need to carefully check their CVs or portfolios. Even if you choose to work with a Thai translation agency, it is your right to ask for blind CVs from the translators who will handle your Thai translation projects. (Translation agencies cannot disclose the personal information of their translators such as name, phone number, email address, etc. to protect the benefits of both translation agencies and their translators. Other than that, information about their work experience and education are still mentioned.)
Key factors you should pay attention to when scanning your their CVs:
- Education – Did they graduate from Thai language and/or translation faculties? If they didn’t, then did they take other training courses in translation (e.g. translation courses from Thai Translator and Interpreter Association of Thailand) to gain the necessary knowledge for the job? Do they have any qualifications for the industries that they have they specialize in? For example, if they translate medical content into Thai, it is fair to ask if they have taken any courses relating to the field. Since being fluent in the Thai language does not necessarily make a good Thai translator, you need to make sure that they have proper qualifications.
- Experience – No matter how excellent your translator candidates’ educational background is, if they do not have relevant real-life translation experience, they might not be your right choice. You should choose translators who have done similar Thai translation projects like yours.
After the CVs analysis, you should be able to pick out some candidates with the most suitable education and experience to test their abilities further.
Ask them to perform a test
Most Thai translation agencies and freelance translators are willing to do a free test of fewer than 300 words. If you want them to perform a higher volume test, it is best to pay them to demonstrate your appreciation for their time and effort.
In terms of the test content, it should include content and terms from the actual projects to ensure that your translation partners can handle that specific type of content well.
A typical Thai translation test format consists of three columns:
(1) Source sentences (which will be filled in by your team);
(2) The Thai translations (which will be done by your Thai translator candidates);
(3) Translator’s notes.
Your Thai translators use the notes column to explain why they chose a particular term or reference. Instead of focusing solely on translation quality, this assists your team in understanding how the translators create their translations, providing a comprehensive view of their abilities, mindset, and sense of responsibility.
The test should be evaluated from two aspects:
- Translation Quality – Are their translations accurate and culturally appropriate? Do they follow all your guidelines and meet your requirements?
- Translator’s Attitude – Is their communication styles good? Are they responsive to your inquiries? Do they notify you if they miss the deadline? Are they willing to improve their translation quality in response to your feedback?
A suitable translator for your Thai translation project should not only have good expertise but also be easy to collaborate with.
The process of finding quality and suitable Thai translation services has never been an easy task. It require a great deal of time and effort from you for finding and testing Thai translation resources. However, we hope this guide has given you an overview of which steps you need to perform to achieve your goal.
If you’re looking for Thai translation services that are quick, high-quality, and affordable, try GTE Localize’s services. We have provided Thai translation services for many well-known brands around the world. We work with a large pool of Thai translators, both in-house and freelance, who can cover all major Thai language pairs and content types.
Drop us a line and our Thai localization experts will be in touch shortly with a quotation for your Thai translation services.