In our previous blog, we started exploring the factors that can help determine the best translation agency for your business. We reviewed the various elements behind quality control and the importance of excellent client service.
This week, we continue with our question of how to find the best translation agency for your business, looking at specialisation, reputation and credibility, availability and the use of technology.
To find the best translation agency for your business, you need to establish whether they specialise in translation for your sector.
Translation specialisation is essential in more technical industries or those that require a great degree of expertise, for example, medical and pharmaceutical, legal, manufacturing and engineering, or digital and information technology. These industries will often use terminology and refer to processes that are very niche to their line of work. Therefore, translators must have the necessary expertise to translate their material accurately.
However, if you require translation of marketing material (in any sector), it is also wise to look for a specialist. Translation agencies specialising in marketing translation, otherwise known as transcreation, will have translators who have a background in marketing or copywriting. With this expertise, they will understand how to creatively mirror the intent of your source copy in another language so it has the desired impact on your global target markets.
Reputation and credibility
Learning more about a provider’s reputation will also help you select the best translation agency for your business. Look for client testimonials and case studies or check reviews online to find out the opinion of people who have used the company’s services.
However, as with reading any reviews, don’t assume these are gospel. Reviews are often only left when a person is either extremely pleased or overly dissatisfied with a service. Typically, there are large numbers of people who have interactions with a company but do not express their opinion online.
Another way of assessing the credibility of a translation agency is its partnership with professional bodies. These may be related to translation, where their translators are members of organisations such as ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) and CIoL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). The translation agency may also partner with industry-specific professional bodies, such as the BHBIA, for medical translation work.
If you are operating a global business that works in different time zones, it is worth checking if your translation agency can provide 24/7 availability. If you have any short-notice requests or queries, your translation agency can then offer a quick response.
The best translation agencies will appreciate the importance of this availability and have teams worldwide working for them to assist their clients whenever needed.
Balancing the use of technology and humans
There are some excellent translation tools available that can support translators and translation providers with improved consistency, accuracy and efficiency. For example, translation memory and terminology management software help identify previously translated words and phrases, providing suggestions to the translator to enable them to work faster. The output quality is still verified by a human linguist who approves any recommendations from these tools.
On the other hand, machine translation engines work independently of human input, and their outputs can often contain inaccuracies due to a lack of understanding of context. If a translation agency uses machine translation, it is worth checking that the translated files undergo a post-editing process by a qualified human translator.
Your communication is a critical part of your business’s success. When communicating with global audiences, you are putting your trust in a translation agency to do an effective job for you. Translation agencies differ in their approach and their strengths. Therefore, it is worth reviewing various translation agencies to find out which offers a service that will deliver the best results for you.
If you have a translation requirement and would like to find out how Mission Translate can support you, please get in contact with our team.