In business, success is based on substantial work, sound marketing strategies, and a pinch of luck. To make it global, though, each company needs to add one more ingredient to the mix. That is a reliable language service provider (LSP) for all their translation projects. No matter if we talk about software translation services, technical document translation or eLearning localization, it is essential to select the right LSP for your business.
There is no single piece of advice on how to choose your translation partner, however there are tips that can help you in the process. The best practice to follow is to create a list of criteria for your LSP that meet your company’s specific demands and to follow through until you find the right match. There are certain groups to include in your list such as quality, price, expertise, reliability, added value. Here are some of the most important to consider.
Subject matter expertise
The first criteria in selecting the right LSP is expertise and subject-knowledge of your own business. Each industry has its specific jargon and it is very important to work with a translator who actually speaks your industry language. This is especially valid in fields where details really make a difference like law, medical, safety, etc. For example, if you want to apply for a new patent abroad and need a patent translation, if you are part of the clinical trials process, when you are putting together OSHA safety instructions, and many more.
Working with translators who are subject-matter experts in the particular field will save you time and money in the long-run. You can rest assured that all your translations are coherent with your business values no matter what language they are expressed.
Quality and accuracy
When it comes to quality vs. quantity it is important to look for both but let the first one prevail. While keeping deadlines is very important in a competitive business environment, it is the high quality of the end product that matters the most. Make sure that you choose an LSP who can provide you with an immaculate translation within the given time framework you have. In other words, you need to select a translation provider who works with a team of translators and proofreaders who can step in whenever needed and who can get the job done correctly the first time.
Never compromise with the quality of the translation as it may otherwise have an expensive outcome. It is also essential to start with translation-friendly text if you want to get the best results. A good guide on how to achieve that is issued by the European Commission to help EU staff write clear texts in English. It is called Claire’s Clear Writing Tips and can be of help for anyone who needs to write a quality text for translation.
The “right” price
Translation cost is an important issue to consider when selecting an LSP. You need to find the right price that you can incorporate in your budget. The “right” price, however, does not mean a low price. Keep in mind that translation is a highly demanding process that requires trained and experienced professionals and therefore deserves proper budgeting. Do not fall for the lowest price or opt for free machine translation and/or the services of a bilingual friend with no translation experience. After all, we get what we pay for and your business deserves the best on the road to success.
Technical knowledge is an important asset for the LSP that your business needs. Using modern technology and maintaining a cloud-based translation management system is a sign that this might be the right translation vendor for you. Offering a reliable translation management system (TMS) will save you time for future projects reveals the expertise of the company and their readiness to help in the best way possible.
Communication is critical for high quality translation. It guarantees that there will be no misunderstandings and deadlines will be kept. The best practice in the field shows that it is important to have a single point of contact or a translation project manager responsible for your project. They can answer all your questions and get in touch with you when need be. In our global world and in the time of pandemic, it is not always possible to meet face-to-face with your vendor, therefore you need to have a reliable system for communication – over the phone, via e-mail, or using video-conference calls. No matter the way, communication with the LSP should always be easy. Make sure, that you are also available for any questions and clarifications that your vendor may have.
Reliability, credibility, and data security are not simple words in the business language. Data breaches are quite common nowadays and so you need an LSP that has a system to ensure your data is safe. Do not underestimate this issue as it can cause you and your partners, clients, or other related parties serious problems. Make sure that your LSP has an ISO-certified translation process that guarantees high quality in all its forms.
The added value in translation comes in various forms and depends on the overall attitude and expertise of your translation vendor. You should look for an LSP that can be a trusted partner at any stage of your economic growth. Experienced translators and proofreaders can often give valuable advice that goes beyond the mere linguistic value of their work. The open communication channels, the proactive attitude, the flexible work way. These are obvious signs of added value and your business will only benefit with a translation partner who shares the same values and ideas.
Here at ICD Translation we are determined to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to help our clients on their road to success. We have experienced translators from a wide variety of languages who are experts in various fields and who are there for you whenever you need them.