Document Translation for Business and How to Select a Translation Agency

Businesses that never thought they would need translation services now require a dedicated language partner more than ever.  The most common reasons are:

  • Increasing market share. By producing bilingual website content and literature, businesses are realizing their products or services have an international reach, thus greatly increasing revenue and remaining competitive.
  • The increasing Non-English-Speaking labor force. Producing forms and manuals in other languages is not just a convenience, but necessary for a company to protect itself legally.  Manuals outlining human resource policies, codes of conduct, health benefits, etc. can easily be translated.

Several factors should be considered when deciding to partner with a translation agency.

Companies should beware of the following:

  • A translation agency who promises to do everything, probably specializes in nothing.
  • Extremely low rates. Those offering extremely low rates compared to the industry in general should be thoroughly vetted.  The only thing greater than the difference in pricing between one translation agency and another is only surpassed by the range in quality and service.  The general rule of thumb is, “you get what you pay for” could never be truer in this industry.
  • Translation agencies that sub-contract out ALL their work. For most commonly used language combinations, it may be best to ensure that the translation work is done in-house at any given translation agency.  It is a surprise to many clients to find out that most of their translation work is sent out to any number of sub-contractors.  This may be fine for the occasional translation of one document, but an agency with in-house translators help to assure consistency.

Consideration should be given to the following points:

  • Longevity and reputation. How long has the agency been in operation? Do they have credible and numerous negative reviews?  Are they a respected business? Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau of have any similar affiliations? All these questions should be asked.
  • Language pairs. If it is anticipated that several documents may need translating over the years, it is good to know if the agency has in-house language translators for the language combinations needed most often.
  • Dedicated project manager. It is best to have a single point of contact that is easily accessible to manage all aspect of any given translation project.
  • The use of Translation Memories. Certain industries have specialized terminology and maintaining a Translation Memory ensures consistent terminology is used from document to document.
  • Quality assurance procedures and practices. Is there a standard editing and proofing practice employed by the agency?
  • Presentation of translations. Does the agency possess DTP abilities to adequately typeset projects? In other words, can the agency produce a translation that conforms to the style and format of the original or will the translation need to be internally re-formatted?
  • Confidentiality and privacy. Does the agency have a strict policy to maintain the confidentiality of the subject matter? Do they advertise who their top clients are like a badge of pride? Is the agency willing to sign any third-party NDA’s?

The Accurate Translator, llc has been in operation since 2006 and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Only in-house English to Spanish and Spanish to English translators are used.  All clients have a single point of contact product manager that is easily accessible by phone or email to ensure a smooth process and the highest quality translation.  Strict confidentiality and willingness to sign a company’s NDA is also the policy of the Accurate Translator, llc.