To get a professional translation service, you need to research with a certain amount of diligence. As with any service providers, there are good ones and bad ones. You want to make sure your documents are communicated clearly regardless of what language It is, the intended meaning and tone of your document needs to carry across.
A qualified and good translator will not only get the correct words down on the page, but also get across the tone and meaning of the document or written work. Language and communication are complex, and a certified translator should be able to convey your message easily.
Freelance Vs Translation Company
There are a couple of different options on who to hire when it comes to translation services including; a freelance translator or a professional translation company. There are benefits to each.
- Freelance Translators – Thanks to the internet these people can be based anywhere in the world. Pros: Freelance translation often provides the lowest cost option as you will only pay for your translation needs and will avoid extra costs. Cons: Freelance translators are likely to have several clients, so turnaround times for translation may be slower. They may not have quality control processes in place.
- Professional Translation Company – These types of businesses can provide industry-specific translations and translation into multiple languages. They will be able to provide a high-quality translation and consistent turnaround times. Pros: They have established processes for translation and knows what works best as they are experts. Cons: Their services may be higher than that of a freelance contractor. However, this is often due to: quality control processes and management ensuring a high level of accuracy.
What qualities should you look for?
There are so many companies and freelance translators out there but what makes one translation company better than another?
- Certification – This will ensure the quality of your translation, so to get the best results I would recommend that you work with an ISO-certified translation company. The ISO is the International Standards Organisation, who specialise in developing quality standards for businesses. One of the services that the ISO certifies is translation.
- Language Experience – The best translators have fluency in both languages – the one you are translating from and the one you are translating to.
- Industry Expertise – Find a translator or translation company that is familiar with your industry. This will mean that they understand the technical terminology of your industry, so they will be able to convey your message and tone better. They will understand your audience and how to address them.
- Get References – Customer testimonials and case studies are great, see if some are available on their website. Are they from reputable individuals or companies? Ask for contact details of some of their customers so that you can talk to them about their experience.
- Time Scales – How quickly do you need your documents translated? What is your deadline. If you want a quick turnaround it might be better to look for a professional translation agency as they often operate 24/7 and can process new requests at any time of the day or week. Freelance translators may already have work on and are bound by their existing schedules, whereas with a translation company they are likely to be more flexible.
- Quality Control – Having a quality control process in place is important as it will ensure that not only your translation is correct but that the tone and way it is delivered to your audience is correct too. A good QC process includes multiple levels of editing and proofreading.
- Value for money – It may seem more expensive initially to go with a professional transcription company but cheap is not always a good thing as poor translation can have a detrimental effect on your business, damage your reputation and end up costing you more in the long term. High-quality translation is worth paying for as it can improve your business prospects.
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