If your business works with international clients then there are many benefits of working with a professional translation partner. The difficult part is having to choose which provider is the best option for your business, as the translation industry is highly competitive. To choose the translation provider that suits your needs the best, it is important to know what to look for whilst you’re still weighing up your options. This doesn’t mean you have to have extensive knowledge about translation, that’s what the translation provider is for, you just need to take a few things into account before making the final decision. Below we have put together 5 things that should be considered when choosing a professional translation partner: Price As with any service, price is often one of the most important factors when it comes to translation services. Businesses will often have a set budget for services like translation and will therefore look for providers within their price range. Translation companies usually have to take into account several factors to calculate their prices such as the cost of the translation itself and proofreading, then also project management time and the cost of using any software or licenses. If you come across translation services that are much lower than the average market price then it’s important to understand why that is. The best way to find this is out is to simply ask the company why their services are so much lower. Likewise, if a translation provider’s prices seem way above market average then clarify why this is too. This way you can be confident that the lower price isn’t at the cost of something else such as quality, security or customer service, and if the price is higher then you can make sure that you are getting value for money. Any reliable provider should be more than happy to discuss their prices with you and answer any questions that you may have before you go ahead with their services. Industry Expertise Another thing to take into account whilst you are looking for the best translation partner is industry expertise. Some translation companies specialise in certain areas such as Market Research, Legal, E-Learning, Finance and more. It is important for you to choose an agency that has experience providing translations to your industry so that you can be confident that they properly understand the subject matter. It should be clear on the company’s website which sectors they provide translations for, and they may also be members of industry associations or have won awards for their work. Another way a translation company may demonstrate their expertise is through its professional accreditations. Accreditations such as ISO 9001 for Quality Assurance and ISO 27001 for Security and Confidentiality reassure clients that a) the company follows certain quality processes and holds specific quality standards and b) their data is protected and conforms to GDPR regulations, for example. Considerable investment goes into applying and retaining these accreditations so whilst you may pay more, you are dealing with a company that has strict quality and security policies, which should give you confidence in that provider. There are also industry-specific versions of these accreditations such as ISO 17100 for Translation Services Management. Qualified Language Professionals A professional translation provider will always use qualified linguists for their translations. Whilst using native level linguists is important, being native doesn’t automatically make someone a language expert. A company that provides high-quality translation services will use linguists that are native, or at a native-equivalent standard, and that also have the relevant qualifications. Whilst each translation company will have different requirements for the linguists that they work with, it isn’t uncommon for professional translators to need a Masters in Translation, or at least 5 years of experience, in order to get a full-time job with a language service provider (LSP). Responsiveness & Flexibility Customer service is arguably just as important as the service itself. A professional translation partner will have Project Managers that are friendly, helpful, have good communication skills and are knowledgeable about their work. They will provide a good level of customer service through fast response times and regular updates about how your project is moving along. Flexibility is also key as unforeseen circumstances can alter timelines and require deadlines to be tightened. Project Managers need to be understanding and be willing to be flexible with their clients to make sure their needs are met. However, this doesn’t mean that Project Managers are magicians and some client requests aren’t always possible. It is up to the PM to be proactive and inform clients if there is an issue with their project and offer any potential solutions. Range of Services & Languages The final thing that we have on our list to consider is the range of services and language combinations that the LSP offers. Some LSPs offer a range of services but in only one language, and others offer one type of service but in multiple languages. If you have a large project or are likely to need translation services on an ongoing basis then ideally you want to find an LSP that offers a range of services across multiple different languages. These additional services will often include Transcription and Interpreting as well as industry-specific services such as Market Research Coding or Content Analysis. Of course, there are many more things to consider when investing in translation services but if you find a translation provider that ticks all of the above then you’re almost there! At Language Insight we are here to support our clients at all stages of their projects and are available to answer any questions about your translation requirements. We are ISO 9001, 27001 and 17100 accredited and have over 12 years of experience providing a range of language services to many sectors such as Market Research, Legal, Financial and more. We only work with the best linguists in the industry that are native level and have a Masters in Translation or at least 5 years of experience as a translator. We also pride ourselves on our commitment to customer service by offering flexible turnaround times and fast responses. For more information about our language services please visit our services page here.