You’ve worked on your original texts and documents with great care. Now you’re about to hand it over to have it translated. Of course you want to go for the right translation agency — a translation agency that understands what you want and meets your requirements. But what do you really need to be aware of before choosing a translation agency? All is revealed in this blog post!
What exactly do you want to achieve with your translations?
It’s good to know exactly what you want to achieve with your translations. Is it a marketing translation that can make your business known internationally or could actually ruin your business? Is it a brochure that comes rolling off a printing press by the thousands? Or is it a document that is not necessarily of great value to your company and the reader? In the latter case it would make perfect sense to choose a translation agency based on price. However, is your translation and accompanying quality of paramount importance? In that case, give some thought as to who would suit you best; the cheapest translation agency or the translation agency providing the best quality.
Which quality do you choose?
Going straight to quality; you determine how important quality is to you. But how do you measure the quality of a translation agency? You can recognise a high-quality translation agency by the following.
If you value good quality, it’s important that the translation agency uses native translators. Native translators are professionals who translate your document from a foreign language into their native language. The advantage of this is not only that they have an excellent command of the language, but that they also know everything about the culture. The native translator lives in your target area which ensures that they will deliver an excellent and reliable translation.
If your sink is leaking you won’t ask the baker for advice. So, why would you have your medical translation done by someone who isn’t a specialist in this field? Or have your marketing texts for the automotive industry translated by someone who’s never sat behind a steering wheel in his or her whole life? Almost every text requires a specialist.
Just think of financial or legal translations. A small mistake can have huge implications. This also applies to lists of ingredients, nutrition labels, medical and technical texts and even marketing texts. You will prevent mistakes by handing the work over to those who really understand it. Translators who have become specialists in your field.
When looking at the quality, the course of the translation process at the translation agency is important too. You will understand that two or even three pairs of eyes see more than just one. It’s not common for all translation agencies to have the first translation reviewed by a second translator followed by a project manager. Although it would definitely be to the benefit of the quality. The second translator checks the text and corrects it where necessary. Is it also reviewed by a project manager? Then you know for sure that you’ve obtained the highest quality.
Use of translation software
When it comes to translation software, many people think of Google Translate — which isn’t necessarily a positive association. It’s also incorrect; translation software differs greatly from a translation machine such as Google Translate. Translation software actually helps to guarantee the quality of your translation. The use of translation software will enable the translation agency to create a translation memory at your request. This translation memory (TM) will only be used for your texts. Thanks to the translation memory, your translations will be consistent, reliable and accurate. The translation memory remembers previously translated words and sentences, which will allow the translator to work faster and more efficiently. And this saves costs.
Is your deadline feasible?
Don’t forget to check whether your deadline is feasible for the translation agency. It would be a shame if the translation agency scores well on all your points to then find out that urgent translations, for example, aren’t possible. Does the translation agency work with project managers? It will increase the possibilities and they will also ensure that your project is completed on time. Do read our blog post about how project managers ensure (even more) international success.
How important is contact to you?
Are you the kind of person who submits the documents to be translated and only wants to hear from the translation agency once everything is finished? Or do you find it important to be able to contact your own project manager if you have any questions? The advantage of a fixed point of contact is that you can be sure that your requirements and preferences are known, that your deadline is monitored and that any problems are already identified before they arise. A project manager is involved in your project throughout the entire process.
What is your translation worth to you?
Also important to think about when choosing a translation agency; what is your translation worth to you? It’s good to realise that a good translation takes time and that you also pay for the quality of the translators. You can assume that the translators are good if they are highly qualified, experienced and specialists in particular areas. Also remember that a faulty translation could cause you to lose customers.
Certified; quality guaranteed
If you want to be sure of high quality, it would be smart to opt for a certified translation agency. If a translation agency has an ISO 9001 certification, the agency basically guarantees to provide services that meet high standards. All employees are familiar with the quality system — from A to Z. This quality system consists of a number of steps in which internal processes are described in great detail. An example would be the complaints procedures, but also dealing with unforeseen situations. You can only obtain an ISO 9001 certificate if you can demonstrate two things; that you have the ability to meet the customer’s wishes at all times and that you meet the described quality standards when delivering products and services.
Request a test translation?
Do you want to put it to the test and discover how a translation agency works and what quality they will provide? Request a test translation. Would you like to ask us for a test translation? You can do this via our contact form or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. We would love to hear from you!