One of the best ways to increase the reach of your business is to make your services accessible in different languages. Doing so does not only open up possibilities for international clients, but it also makes you more approachable for multilingual people in your area. However, not every business has the in-house resources to handle translations themselves. Even if you do have an employee who speaks said foreign language, they may not have the experience or training to be able to offer written translations, especially if you need help with technical jargon. That’s where translation companies come in. A top-notch translation service will ensure quality translations without any embarrassing mistakes that may come back to haunt you in the future.
The challenge, however, lies in finding such a company. With multiple options available, you will need to be able to find one that offers high-quality translations that are reliable and objectively written. If you’re wondering how to find a top translation agency for your business, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Check How Their Work Is Handled
Finding a machine translation service is easy. You don’t even need to find a professional agency to do the job for you – all you need to do is visit Google Translate and let their technology handle the rest.
That being said, while online translators are undoubtedly far more accessible (and budget-friendly), they’re also far less accurate. For example, once you translate a sentence using an online translator, try reversing the process and asking the service to translate the sentence it provided you back into the original language. You’ll quickly realise that it leaves a lot to be desired.
Instead, make sure to look for translation agencies that employ human translators. Human translators are far more accurate than their technological counterparts, so you’ll have better assurance of an accurate translation. Additionally, they have experience in your target language, so they know when to translate something colloquially and when to opt for the traditional translation.
Having humans do the translation for you may be more expensive, but it ensures your translations will be conducted by someone who has thoroughly studied the language. The language you use will not be stilted and will instead flow naturally, allowing your business to appear more professional.
Ask About their Contingency Policies
Even the most experienced translator can make a mistake. This is a normal part of working with people, and it will likely happen more than once.
Luckily, top translation agencies usually have contingency plans for such occurrences. As data from het vertaalbureau points out, having a second translator to proofread the translation is essential. They’ll be able to catch any mistakes before the translation reaches your desk and ensure you’re only getting the most accurate work.
Check with the translation agency you’re speaking to and see if they have proofreaders for their work. If not, ask if they have any other contingency plans in place to prevent mistakes from making it into the final draft.
Ask About Localization
Knowing the language is only one part of the job. A good translation agency should also be able to provide you with localization services.
Localization involves adapting your content specifically for your target audience. Though localization consists of a lot more than just the language you use, it’s an integral part of it.
The same language can differ depending on where the reader is located. For example, if you’re translating your content into Portuguese, you’ll have to determine where your target reader lives – in Brazil, Portugal or the United States.
This will affect minor aspects of the translations, like how you format dates. Dates in Brazilian Portuguese are formatted as dd/mm/yy, rather than mm/dd/yy, the way they are in the United States. You’ll only confuse your clients if you format the date based on Brazilian conventions for a US reader and vice versa.
A good translation service will be aware of these little trip-ups. Additionally, they may also be able to provide you with recommendations about other localization adjustments you may need to make to your website, such as what colours you should use for the greatest effect.
Make Sure They Have Good Customer Support
A good translation agency should also have good customer support – and they should be able to speak to you in your preferred language. Additionally, if you’re using the services of an agency in another time zone, they should be available to talk to you based on your needs.
Having accessible customer support ensures you’re able to contact them during business hours for your company, instead of having to adjust your schedule to get in touch with them. Furthermore, if they’re able to converse with you in your first language, you’ll be able to convey any issues or concerns you have easily, without worrying about whether they understood what you were saying.
Take a Look at Their List of Clients
There are two things you should look for when looking at an agency’s list of existing and past clients – well-known ones and the ones in the same niche as your company.
If the agency has both bases covered, you can be confident that not only quality translations will be offered, they also have experience in industry-specific jargon and technical details that you may need to have translated. Depending on the industry your business is in, this may be a critical requirement.
Ask How Fast They Work
Aside from quality, one of the most critical factors that you need to consider when choosing a translation company is speed and efficiency. The last thing you want is to wait months to receive even the most basic of translations.
Ask the companies you’re considering how fast they can complete a job. Consider sending over a mock document that isn’t time-sensitive – if they finish the translation in the time they initially guaranteed, you can be confident sending over more urgent pieces. If not, it’s best to look for other options.
Translations can be a challenging task when you don’t speak the language – you’re trusting that the translation agency you hire is able to do the job and represent your business values well. Choosing a top-quality service ensures that your business doesn’t take a hit for a mistake you might have had a hand in making.