In the world of business, global growth is often the path a company follows. It includes opening offices in various locations, training staff, finding partners, targeting clients and preparing massive marketing campaigns. While all of these activities require different assets, there is one common thing among all of them – they all need to be properly translated and localized in order to reach the target audience.
Speaking the language of the person you are dealing with is of paramount importance for your understanding. In the same way, localization of all training, documents and other materials can be the key to the successful growth of the business both within the country and abroad. Therefore, finding the right translation and localization partner is the first step of the realization of your growth. Here are a few tips on how to select a company that will be able to meet all of your requirements at the desired high level.
Types of Localization Partners
When it comes to translation and localization of various documentation, there are generally five types of providers that you can choose from:
- Company employees
While it might be tempting to use some of your bilingual employees to do the translation of your project, it is not always a good idea. You may save a bit in terms of expenses, however, the overall result might not be satisfying at all and can actually entail damage to your product and company brand rather than do you good. Using a company employee for translation and localization may be viable for a given project but it is better not to turn this into practice.
There is a chance that you are marketing your products abroad via distributors. You may choose to delegate them the responsibility of translating the advertising campaign or the manuals that go with the product. This can be beneficial to the extent that they can find local translation agencies familiar with the industry to do the job. However, as you are not directly in control of the translation and localization process, you cannot predict the final result and it may turn out to be unsatisfactory. Using a distributor for your translation project might be even riskier than using your own employees so it is better to leave it as a last resort.
- Freelance translators
Hiring a freelance translator might be a cheaper and more flexible option, however, it comes with some drawbacks as well. A freelance translator usually works in one language pair, so if you need localization in several languages you will need to work with several people. In addition to that, you will need to hire copy editors and proofreaders who can guarantee the high quality of the final translation.
- Single-language service providers
Working with a language provider is a smarter option. The company usually employees several translators and thus they can finish the job much quicker. An LSP also has an established quality assurance system, as well as proofreaders and other specialists who guarantee the quality of the provided translation and localization services. The drawback of choosing a single-language service provider is that you will need to find another partner in case you need your texts translated into other languages.
- Multiple-language service providers
Working with a multiple-language service provider is the best option of all, especially if you plan your expansion in several foreign markets. You will have one partner to communicate with during the entire process of your multiple-language translation process which guarantees coherence of the entire process.
Capabilities to Look For
A language service provider offering multiple language combinations is definitely the best option to choose for your translation and localization project as you would be working with one partner for all the languages that you need. Here are what other capabilities the company should have so that it serves you best:
- Ability to localize videos
Video can make or break your company training, for example, and hence it is important to have it done right. When it comes to localizing video content, it is crucial that you find an LSP that provides a full range of video-producing services. Thus, you will be sure that the video contained in your project will be of the highest possible quality and meet the demands of the target audience.
- Ability to localize mobile apps
The market for mobile apps is constantly growing. Many consumers, however, prefer buying this product with information that comes in their own language, as it is with other goods. Finding an LSP that is able to localize mobile apps will be of great importance if this is the product your company offers. You need a provider who understands all the linguistic and technical aspects of the app. It is an advantage if the LSP has the possibility to test how the localized apps work on devices used locally.
- Ability to respond to your specific needs
When it comes to localization, an LSP should be responsive in all ways. They should be able to give advice to the customer in relation to all aspects of the project in addition to providing the actual service. How to include graphs and illustrations is just one side of the project. A responsive LSP should be able to work within a given timeframe and budget and have excellent communication skills. Experience in your industry can also be of a great advantage.
Other Important Factors to Consider
When selecting your translation and localization partner, you also need to pay attention to factors such as:
- Experience in your field
- Qualification of the staff
- Location and means of communication
- Translation tools used
- Variety of service offered – document translation, website translation, desktop publishing, business interpretation, etc.
Note that these are complex factors that you need to consider together. Never choose cost over quality as the final product will not meet your expectations and may not even serve its purpose properly.
When it comes to selecting the best translation and localization partner, always opt for a company that can offer the full range of services that you need. This will save you both time and money and will guarantee a higher quality of your project. Besides, communicating with only one provider is much easier compared to dealing with several freelancers, for example. Make sure to choose a provider that you will feel comfortable working with, while the service they offer meets your needs.