As of 2021, the translation market was valued at approximately $53 billion internationally. As the world becomes increasingly connected due to the expansion of the internet and social media, businesses and brands are turning to international translation solutions more than ever.
Whether you are expanding your business to a new location or if you intend to maximize your reach, both online and off, knowing how to find the best translation services is imperative.Below, we've shared our top tips for those who are interested in professional translation services but are unsure of where to begin. Once you are familiar with various translation services available and the landscape of the professional translation industry, you can select a professional translation provider that is genuinely right for you.
Table of Contents
1. Consider the Translation Services You Require
2. Research and Compare Translation Services
3. Why Hire a Professional Translation Agency?
4. Hiring a Freelance Translator Vs. a Professional Translation Company
5. Research the Translator's Quality Control Procedures
6. Inquire About Technologies, Software, and Tools Used to Translate
7. Consider the Editing Side of Translating
8. Localized Translation Services
9. What are the benefits of localized translation services?
10. How to Find the Best Translation Services
Consider the Translation Services You Require
Before you can find the best translation services available, you will first need to determine what types of translation services you will require. Ask yourself the following questions when you are getting started with your next translation project:
- What type of content and information am I interested in having translated? Am I only interested in translating text documents such as contracts and manuals, or all of my branded material including audio-based content such as videos and eLearning courses?
- Who am I trying to appeal to with the translations I receive? Am I targeting internal employees, or an entirely new internationally-based audience?
- What message am I trying to convey with the use of professional translation services? How can I ensure that my message is going to be well-received?
- How will prospective customers and clients have access to my translated material? Will this translated material be printed, or will it be available online across various networks and social media platforms?
Research and Compare Translation Services
Once you make the decision to translate content for your business, you will need to research and compare translation services to determine your own needs.
Not all translation services operate equally, which is why it is advisable to take time to review and compare services that are available from each of your preferred translation providers.
When researching and comparing translation services and professional providers, consider the following:
- Professional translations: Is your content being translated professionally? If a translation service claims to deliver professionally translated material, inquire about the process and tools used to help their translators get there.
- Qualifications: Are the translators you hired certified, trained or educated in your subject domain, do they have experience in your subject matter? If not, does this matter, and can this impact the outcome of your translations in the long run?
- Editing: Are editing services included or available from the company, team, or freelancer you are hiring?
- Localization experience: If you intend to target a highly specific region or locale, you may want to consider seeking out localization services. Using professional localization services when receiving translations is a way to ensure that your translations are not only accurate but culturally relevant and familiar to the individuals you intend to reach.
Why Hire a Professional Translation Agency?
Whether you are in the market to have your employee training manual translated or if you are creating an international image for your business, it is always highly advisable to hire a professional translation company to get the job done.
Working with a premium agency ensures that the translators who are taking on your project are well-read and experienced in the field. Hiring a professional translation company also ensures that those who take on your translation tasks are well-versed in the proper tools and techniques available to help them through the process.
Hiring a Freelance Translator Vs. a Professional Translation Company
When you are thinking of hiring a translator and you are searching to find the best translation services, you may consider the option of hiring a freelancer. However, there are a few advantages to hiring a professional translation company over a freelance translator, such as:
- Quality control: Working with a reputable and trustworthy translation company guarantees quality control. Hiring a freelancer can be hit or miss, and it is much more difficult to ensure quality control if you and the freelancer are the only two parties involved in the transaction.
- Guarantees and contingencies: A professional translation company will provide you with guarantees and expectations you can rely on. An independent freelancer may or may not meet your expectations. Professional agencies have access to tried and tested resources and have back-ups and contingencies in cases where projects need to be reassigned for any reason.
- Tools and software: Working with a professional translation company is also a way to gain access to a variety of tools, technologies, and software solutions that help the translator to ensure quality and accuracy every step of the way.
- Localization services: If you intend to reach a highly specific and targeted region, turn to a translator service that is professional and reputable. Getting your translations right the first time can significantly impact how a target audience will react to your business and brand.
Research the Translator's Quality Control Procedures
Once you have found a translation service that you are interested in, research the quality control procedures that the translation company provides.
If you want to ensure that your translations are not only accurate but also relevant to your intended audience or region, conducting a bit of quality control research is essential.
Any translation company that provides the best translation services will also include proper quality control procedures, such as utilizing built-in glossaries, translation memory, and advanced QA functionality to help alongside the translators themselves.
Inquire About Technologies, Software, and Tools Used to Translate
When you want to know how to find the best translation services, inquire about QA, or Quality Assurance testing as well as additional software solutions and translation tech that is currently available to help translators throughout the process.
Top translation providers not only work with the most highly trained translators available today, but they also integrate a wide range of technologies and software solutions to boost quality and speed.
Using Quality Assurance testing as well as built-in glossaries and Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools can significantly improve the overall quality and accuracy of each individual translation that is accepted and completed.
At Andovar, we are proud to use one of the most advanced translation QA platforms available on the market, Content Quo, which is integrated seamlessly with our translation management system (TMS) - Memsource, also consistently ranked as the best TMS available by G2.
Consider the Editing Side of Translating
Once you have made the decision to seek out professional translators, consider the type of editing and reviewing you may need. Will you require additional services from freelancers or independent contractors, or are you interested in an all-inclusive translation service solution?
Working with a translation provider who has editing included in their process is one way to save time while ensuring quality and accuracy.
Whenever you are in the market for a new translation company, it is highly recommended to inquire about the type of editing software, tools, and services that are also included in the process.
Localized Translation ServicesAnother key element to finding the best translation services is finding a provider that offers localized translation solutions.
What are localized translation services?
Localized translation services are translation services that are specific to a certain region, location, or dialect of people. Because dialects and varieties of language vary by location and region, using localized translation services is a must for those who intend to attract genuine followers and prospective customers.
Without localization services, using a generic translation can turn potential customers and clients away, as the translations may appear clunky or insensitive. Localization services help to better relate to a specific audience regardless of the dialect and/or variety you are targeting and translating.
What are the benefits of localized translation services?
Using localized translation services provides an array of benefits and advantages over other generic translations, such as:
- Demonstrate cultural respect and sensitivity. This can help with garnering new followers and prospective customers, even from those who were previously unaware of your business and brand.
- Convey your message with its original intent. Avoid having your message get lost in translation due to using a generic translation solution.
- Maximize your international reach. Targeting specific dialects and varieties showcases your ability to connect and communicate with a foreign audience. It is much easier to gain respect and support from those who believe you genuinely care about their own region and local communities.
How to Find the Best Translation Services
Once you are ready to find the best translation services for your brand's next project, you can do so with a few steps to help you prepare.
What type of translation are you in need of? Will you be requiring text translations of documents that have already been printed or an array of corporate files? Will you be updating your web presence and your printed materials?
Are you relocating internationally and require localization services? Are you expanding into subtitles, live advertisements, and even online videos that require translations? Understanding the types of translations you will need will be essential when seeking out the best translation provider able to fulfill the task.
Along with the types of translations you may require, consider the content types as well as the file types you will be working with throughout your translation project.
From working with traditional subtitle file types to video media, uploaded streams, and even audiobooks, you will need to know what type of content and file types you intend to have translated to ensure the translation company you choose is capable of handling them. Not all translation companies are able to manage complex multimedia, which may include multilingual voiceover, subtitling and content integration.
What target languages do you intend to use and what populations do you want to reach? Do you require additional localization services for specific varieties and dialects you intend to use in your translations? How do the specific languages you intend to target work with your current business model and/or plan to scale and expand? Many translation agencies excel in certain languages, few are masters of them all.
Brand, Voice, Tone
Consider the type of voice and tone you intend to use with your branding, and how that may be translated depending on the region and language dialect or variety you intend to use.
If you are targeting specific regions that are averse to promotional tones or corporate advertisements, it is advisable to create multilingual style guides for each language. Style guides cover aspects such as tone of voice writing style, spelling, punctuations, brand voice, and other textual and visual elements.
Security and Privacy Matters
If you are representing a corporate entity that prioritizes the safety, security, and privacy of your customers, you will need to consider this when learning how to find the best translation services for your business.
If you have legal documents and sensitive material that require translating, it is best to turn to a reputable, trustworthy, and professional translation service who has appropriate contracts and service level agreements in place with translators and staff. Exercise caution with which tools and technologies are used for projects, especially in the area of machine translation. While there are safe and secure GDPR compliant options available, many free MT solutions disclose data. At Andovar we offer 9 paid MT engines of varying specifications in-built into our TMS including private, custom and on-premises solutions. Avoid working with a freelance contractor or translator if you are working with government agencies, personal information, or highly sensitive and secure data of your customers and clients.
If deadlines matter and are important to you, it is essential to work with a translation service that is true to its word and one that has a reliable track record. Professional translation services will provide you with estimated timelines according to any deadlines you set prior to getting started with your translation project. Professional translation companies will use a range of tools and technology to ensure scalability without compromising quality.
Always search for professional translators who are willing to work with any timeline you have set in place, especially if you intend to launch to a new region or location on a specific date and at a specific time.
Choosing the best translation services for your business can mean the difference between connecting with an entirely new audience and turning prospective customers away.
Learning how to find the best translation services can help you to save time when searching for a solution while simultaneously feeling comfortable and confident in your decision.
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