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Translation Services: Questions to Ask Your Translation Company
Choosing a translation provider can be a challenging task. Of course, everybody says they do great translations. How can you assess who really offers the translation service you need? Here, we offer some questions to help you make the right choice for you.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Translation Partner?

1) What relevant experience do you have?

You are likely to get a better result with translators who have the right type of specialisation. Asking a generalist translator to do a specialised translation is like asking a GP to do eye surgery: it’s unlikely to give you the result you want.

Your translation service provider needs to show you that they have experience in all of the following:
  • Your sector (eg banking, financial, legal, pharmaceutical, public sector, advertising…)
  • Your area of expertise (HR, marketing, communications, finance, stakeholder relations…)
  • Translating your type of documents (annual reports, interview transcripts, EWC material, posters and brochures…)
  • Working with your format (Word, web or html, InDesign, PowerPoint, audio recording…)
  • The languages you need (European, Asian, Scandinavian, Eastern European, African…)

2) Can you provide good references?

Of course, the question of references follows naturally from the first question. The right translation provider for your needs almost certainly has experience working in your sector – and they’ll be able to tell you about other satisfied, and similar, clients.

3) Are you honest and reliable?

Okay, so maybe you can’t ask this question in so many words. But you can look for clues to honesty and reliability.

A reliable translation provider will tell you honestly how long it will take to translate your document – they won’t build up unrealistic expectations that are bound to be disappointed.

An honest translation company won’t tell you they have expert, academically qualified and experienced UK-based translators in languages such as Lozi, or Guarani, or Afar. (There simply aren’t any.)

And a reliable translation service will treat you as a full partner in the translation process.

4) What is your quality process?

At the most basic level, quality begins with translators working into their native language. However, being a native speaker is very basic indeed, and certainly not sufficient. Many fluent bilingual speakers don’t have the skills, training and experience to be good translators. And many good general translators don’t have the level of specialisation you may need!

The right translation partner will be able to describe their quality process, from the calibre of translators they recruit, to their quality-checking, proofreading and editing processes, to their customer service and management processes.

5) How do you provide value for money?

The top-line price is not the only cost. Inevitably, there are also hidden costs:
  • Is the quote clear and transparent?
  • Is proofreading included in the cost?
  • Are corrections included free of charge?
  • Will the translation be right the first time?
This last consideration – the cost of your time – is the most important hidden cost. Will your translation partner give you a translation that doesn’t require a lot of amendment? A translation that is right the first time will save you both time and money.

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For more information or a quote, contact us online or call 020 7269 0370.