Any company that wants to target non-English speaking customers needs to get its message across. With 56,920 interpreters and translators employed in the U.S., it is essential to find the right professional for your business. You can select between translators employed by a language service provider (LSPs), or freelancers depending on your needs. In any case, there are certain factors that can help you decide who the right translator for your business is. 

Sector-specific skills

While every business uses specific jargon, some sectors are much more specialized. Translating documentation into a foreign language might be a challenge for someone who is not familiar with the terminology. To avoid misunderstandings, it is a good idea to hire a translator or LSP who is familiar with your industry. A professional will be familiar not only with the terminology but also with the particular requirements and legal basis which govern your business. Such skills are extremely helpful for technical document translation because it can reduce the period for implementing the project.

In many cases translators have diplomas in linguistics and another field. This helps them translate content for that field quicker and easier. Sometimes, the translator may simply have many years of experience in a given industry and knows the sector-specific jargon. Industry knoweledge is one of the most important factors to look for while selecting the right translator or LSP for your business. 

The right language combination 

The second important factor in finding the right translator or LSP for your business is the language combination. It is easier to translate your content into one language, but things get more complicated if you target more markets. While it is possible to find freelance translators that work with more than one language, it can be rare. In such cases, it is better to select the right language service provider who can supply all the languages that you need. Working with one agency will simplify the translation process. Making it faster, more cost effective, and ensuring quality and consistency. You always have the option to hire several freelance translators for the job as well. This, however, will require more efficient time management on behalf of your company and may turn out to be less affordable than working with an LSP. 

Variety of services offered

The right translator should be able to provide a variety of services that include translation of documents, proofreading, voiceover, creative translation, and more. While there are freelance translators who are able to offer that, it is easier to find a package of services that is just right for your business at an LSP.

You can choose a translation partner who uses a Translation Management System (TMS), has a team of translators available to do various tasks, and offers a cloud-based translation management system that allows you to monitor the progress at any time. Usually there is a single contact or a translation project manager who is in charge of your company translations.

During the translation process you may discover that you need an additional translation service that you have not envisaged, such as software localization. When working with an LSP, additional services are readily available. If working with a freelance translator, you may need to find another professional for that additional service. 

Technical knowledge

The translation process does not simply include rendering the content from one language into another. The format of the text is equally important. A single document may have different formats for different languages and is necessary for the translator to be able to follow those requirements. When it comes to localization, the format of dates, names, or addresses may need special attention in certain markets. Hence, technical knowledge is quite important as a factor when looking for a translation partner. Many translators work with a specific translation software or provide proofreading after machine translations. In many LSPs, there is a translation management system that facilitates the process. A translator who is technically-literate is an asset for any business. 

Availability and price range 

Last but not least, you need to check translator availability. Can they meet your deadline? Is the price offered acceptable for your business? Translation can be affordable if you choose wisely, but a price too low usually comes with the corresponding level of quality. It is necessary to negotiate the terms of your translation project with the translator and come to mutually beneficial conditions that do not compromise the integrity of the translated text. Always keep in mind that there might be some unexpected changes during the translation process.

Here at ICD Translation we have significant experience and expertise in a variety of industries and we work with a team of translators who cover all of the most demanded languages for translation. We are able to assist you with your translation project by giving you advice and being a reliable partner and not simply a translation provider. 

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