Thanks to globalization, businesses continue to trade across national borders. The availability of content in different languages makes it necessary to hire agencies that offer the best document translation services. According to the European Business Review, companies need translation services to leverage the limitless opportunities that trading globally brings.
Anyone who has hired translators in the past knows how difficult it is to find agencies that can deliver excellent work. It’s essential to choose translators who will help you to communicate effectively. Whether you’re looking to translate and localize documents, software, or videos, here are some tips for finding agencies that offer the best document translation services.
How to Hire the Best Document Translation Services
Know What You Need
It’s best to understand the scope of the translation project at hand before you start shopping around for a service provider. When it comes to translation, the rule of thumb is to work with an agency that conveys your message. The agency should also have the expertise to express yourself to the target audience accurately. Understanding your translation needs will set you on the right path when hiring an agency to work with.
Consider an Agency’s Specialization
Translation services fall into several categories. A company that may be good at software translation may not offer the best document translation services. When evaluating the suitability of different agencies, expect them to have vertical expertise cutting across different niches.
When it comes to document translation, a one-size-fits-all approach may not suit your communication goals. Also, keep in mind that not all agencies under consideration can translate complex medical, legal, or financial content expertly. This highlights the significance of hiring an agency whose translators have extensive knowledge cutting across different industries.
A simple online search will reveal that there are hundreds of translation agencies out there. As any other business does, these agencies claim to offer the best services. However, that’s not always the case, thus the need to gauge the quality of agencies’ work by requesting samples of previous projects.
Also, find about the quality assurance standards and whether they undertake quality checks when translators when freelancers submit their tasks. Agencies that offer the best document translation services always have a team of editors to proofread and edit translations. Likewise, they consider the required message tone.
Not every translation agency offers the same quality. Hence, it would help if you asked about an agency’s ability to provide all services related to your project requirements. For instance, if you want to translate advertising content, the agency that you work with should be well-versed in SEO, SEM, email marketing, and other marketing strategies. It will add value to your project.
Translators should be native language speakers who are qualified for the job. However, being a native speaker doesn’t make one a language expert, let alone a professional translator. While some agencies solely hire translators based on their native language capabilities, credible agencies hire translators based on merit.
Translation involves more than changing content from one language to another. Although native speakers tend to be articulate in their language, it doesn’t mean they are professional translators. Thus, it’s best to ask your translation agency about the qualifications of employees who will work on your project. Despite mastering the local language, they should also understand the target audience and your needs.
The quality of translations offered by an agency is primarily determined by its ability to localize your content. Besides translating the content into the required language, it also needs to get localized to suit the target audience’s needs. The translated content can only be effective if it resonates with the audience.
Without the ability to localize content, your message won’t resonate with the target audience. Something acceptable in one culture may be frowned upon in another, even if one language is spoken across the cultures. If an agency fails to localize your content when translating it, the message will undoubtedly fall flat.
Point of Contact
After hiring a translation agency to work on your project, you’ll undoubtedly want to be kept updated on its progress. A credible agency will always assign a contact person to each client to ensure seamless communication in the project. The individual should always be ready to explain the project’s progress, besides adapting to deadlines and new requirements.
When undertaking a translation project, you should know who to go to in case of anything. Furthermore, work with an agency that’s willing to provide past clients’ testimonials whenever you request proof of their work. In case the chosen agency is bound by a non-disclosure agreement and cannot provide this proof, ask for a simple job test. It helps you to determine its ability to handle your translation project.
Before you hire a translation agency, it’s good practice to inquire about turnaround times. Most translation agencies hire freelancers who live in different time zones. Thus, they work beyond standard office hours. Even so, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your project will get delivered on time.
When an agency’s translators are spread across different time zones, managing them can be challenging. Your project will only be delivered on time if the freelancers honor your schedule. An agency will only deliver projects on time to leverage its translators’ pool across the globe.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Indeed, this is a somewhat contentious issue when it comes to hiring document translators. When considering different agencies, you’ll certainly want them to provide proof of their past work. However, few clients wish to have details of their work revealed by translation agencies. If you’re translating legal or financial documents, for instance, you’ll want them to remain confidential.
- Does the agency comply with regulatory standards such as HIPAA?
- Is it insured?
- Do editors and translators undergo background checks?
Furthermore, the documents you want to get translated should be stored and transmitted in a secure system to ensure that your content doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
Right from the first phone call you make to a translation agency, you should be able to tell whether it’s the right fit for your project. In particular, be keen on the type of questions you’ll be asked by the agency’s employees towards meeting your project goals.
Customer service goes beyond the initial contact you’ll make with a translation agency and its employees. When discussing the project, establish whether it will use the same translators to undertake your project. This ensures consistency in the tone and voice of the translations.
There’s a big difference between translation agencies that deliver customers’ projects as required and those that provide value addition. Customer service entails excellent service and fast responses via all communication channels.
Value Vs. Cost
When shopping for translation services providers, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring an agency based on the cost of its services. Indeed, you’ll want to save a few coins, but it’s best to focus on the value of the services you’ll get rather than affordability.
When evaluating a translation agency, the first thing to do is ascertain the value you’ll get from its services. For starters, compare its payment packages with the services offered. If the price is too low, the chances are that the company doesn’t provide professional services. Conversely, high prices don’t imply that an agency offers excellent translations.
Besides considering the translators’ expertise, it’s also advisable to look at the agency’s technical capabilities. In this regard, inquire about its system and operational setup. Find out whether the agency uses a cloud-based system that guarantees transparency when submitting or archiving documents and the billing system put in place.
A reliable translation company understands the significance of investing in the latest technologies to optimize its capabilities. For instance, having certified translators on board attests to an agency’s know-how. Likewise, an agency should use translation tools that suit different text formats.
Extra Services Offered
You will get more value from translation agencies that offer complementary services. Such agencies deliver not only excellent translations but also provide extra services at no cost. Some of the additional services that a credible translation agency offers to clients include multilingual SEO, DTB services, and content globalization.
The ability to offer extra services over expectations proves that an agency cares about the clients. Complimentary services add value to your business besides saving you the cost of outsourcing them from another agency.
Final Words: Hiring the Best Document Translation Services
As your business scales and starts globalizing operations, its content translation needs should be managed by experts. The agency you choose should have in-depth knowledge of your industry and the ability to deliver your project on time.
At Accurate Communication, we offer excellent language solutions to clients across different niches. We pride ourselves on being language and communication experts with years of experience in translation. Contact us to learn more about our services.