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Businesses today believe in building a multilingual brand presence globally. Brand translation into local languages not just eliminates the language barrier but also boosts the overall customer’s brand experience. However, creating a multilingual brand identity is not easy. Most companies have to build a separate localization department to look after their translation operations. Or, they can conveniently hire top language service providers (LSP) to manage their brand translation needs.

LSPs provide you full support in managing your translation and localization tasks, but hiring the right LSP could be challenging. The overall quality and efficiency of your translation services are highly dependent on the credibility of your language service providers. You have to be really very careful about outsourcing your translation operation to a third-party vendor. In this post, we have provided the most essential questions that you should ask your language service provider before closing a deal.

Table of Content

  • Why Hire a Translation Service Agency?
  • Important Questions You Should Ask You LSP
  • How much experience do they have working in the industry?
  • What niches do they have expertise in?
  • What is their Criteria to Choose translators to work on a translation project?
  • How do they ensure seamless communication between translators and their clients?
  • Which QA procedures do they follow to ensure relevant and accurate translations?
  • How do they ensure that translations are culturally appropriate?
  • What tools do they use in translation project management?
  • How much work can they manage on a regular basis?
  • How do translators carry out translation processes?
  •  How do they charge, and what packages and discounts do they offer to the clients?

Why Hire a Translation Service Agency?

An extensive translation workload could be hard to manage when you start hitting multiple marketplaces at a time. However, you can’t put all the work burden on your employees, as it would only lead to gaps in translation quality. Hiring a translation agency would relieve your workload without affecting the work efficiency and performance of the in-house translation team. You can also hand over your entire translation project to a professional agency; if you don’t want to build a separate translation department, assemble an in-house team of experienced professionals. Moreover, partnering with a professional language service provider is also considered a more cost-effective approach towards translation management.

Important Questions You Should Ask You LSP

Here are the questions that you need to ask your language service provider, so everything is clear in your head from the very beginning. Let’s have a look at the top questions you must ask your LSP.And why having them answered would save you from future trouble and help you get away with your translation management challenges more smoothly.

How much experience do they have working in the industry?

It is the first thing you must ask your LSP because having extensive experience in the industry makes an LSP reliable enough to handle your translation project. Ask them about the clients that they have previously worked with, and how they go about their translation project management. The higher number of experiences your language service provider has, the more understanding they would have about translation related to diversified industries. LSPs who have previously worked on similar projects would be suitable for you. As they may better understand your translation requirements more effectively.

What niches do they have expertise in?

Not all translation management projects are the same. Based on your project niche, you have to choose a suitable language service provider accordingly. Every LSP is specialized in different industries depending on his past experience and qualifications in translations. For instance, some LSPs are specialized in medical translation management, so some are good with legal translations. Both medical and legal translation need experts to translate and review the documents, and the right use of written terminologies is also important. So, ask them about the niches they have been working on. It will give you an idea about whether or not LSP would be able to meet your content requirements.

What is their Criteria to Choose translators to work on a translation project?

You should have some idea about the qualification and experience of the translators who will be managing your translation project. Every LSP has its own criteria to qualify translators to work on a specific project. Knowing the qualification processes would understand how effectively these translators could manage your project. For instance, if you want to translate financial documents, they should be managed by professionals with fine industrial exposure. S/he should be aware of the terminologies and intricacies of financial documentation to avoid any errors in translations.

How do they ensure seamless communication between translators and their clients?

Most LSPs treat all translation projects the same and don’t want to spend time on the intricacies of each project separately. If you end up partnering with such LSPs, it will cause a lot of trouble in the future. And you will keep asking your LSP for more edits and reviews. So, it’s important to make clear from the beginning, how your LSP would ensure effective communication between you and translators.

A good LSP always listens to your concerns carefully prior to working on your translation project. It makes sure that you provide feedback on things throughout the project management. And, it must respond to your concerns quickly without making you wait for so long.

Which QA procedures do they follow to ensure relevant and accurate translations?

In the end, high-quality translations are critical to your brand’s success in a global marketplace. If your LSP is unable to provide accurate and relevant translation, it would only affect your brand image globally. So, it is important to ask your LSP about the quality assurance procedures that they use to test the quality of translation. Every LSP performs different processes to test the accuracy of translations that have a huge impact on overall translation quality. Ask your LSP how they ensure that a translation document is of good quality. Do they use some AI-powered tool, or do human translations proofread and review the translation files? When your LSP is reliable and delivers quality work, it would give you peace of mind. You don’t have to constantly worry about the relevancy and accuracy of translations.

How do they ensure that translations are culturally appropriate?

No matter how experienced and renowned your LSP is and how qualified are the translators, if your translations are not culture-appropriate, you would never be able to grab the attention of target customers. That’s why it is important to get your translations done by native translators only. They’ve more exposure to your culture and are also aware of the cultural intricacies that should reflect in your translations. Most LSP work with native translators to meet the needs of their clients. Moreover, some LSPs also have culture and industry consultants that support translators in culture-appropriate and industry-specific translations. So, it would be even better if your LSP has a culture consultant who will get you away with translation content for new markets.

What tools do they use in translation project management?

Long gone are the times of traditional translations that were slow and complicated. There are many advanced technological tools that not just speed up your translation process but also reduce the workload of the translation team. Using a TMS tool would bring more automation to your translation process. It also helps you get away with translation challenges effortlessly. So, which translation management or CAT tool your LSP uses matters a lot. You can ask them about the features that their TMS has and how it will ensure speedy, hassle-free, and high-quality translations.

Even if they are not entirely doing human translations, and relying mostly on MT translations proofread by translators, things should be discussed and made clear in the first place. If you are someone who doesn’t have trust in the MT system, you better converse with your LSP and inform them about your concerns.

How much work can they manage on a regular basis?

It is an important question to ask your LSP; otherwise, you may face delays and missed deadlines in content publication. Not every LSP is the same when it comes to managing translations on a regular basis, based on their resources and the number of clients they are currently managing. So, depending on how much content you will be needing daily, you must choose an LSP who could manage your translation requirements within schedules. Which technology your LSP leverage also has a lot to do with their speed and efficiency in translation management system. So, if you have to manage large volumes of content daily, you better hire an LSP who uses MT tools, otherwise, you may need to hire more than one LSP.

How do translators carry out translation processes?

You must ask your LSP about the tools and resources that their translators use to generate translation. For instance, do they manage translation files manually, or is there a system in place that does automatic file management? Do they use a translation management system, and what is their policy about translation memory? How do they create glossaries for brand translations? How they carry out your translation processes greatly impacts your time, money, and efforts invested in translations. It is good to know about linguistic assets and resources that your translators use. It will allow you to better understand the whole translation process.

 How do they charge, and what packages and discounts do they offer to the clients?

Last but certainly not least, it all boils down to if you can afford the fee of LSP or not. Of course, you have to stay within your translation budget and choose an LSP who would fulfill your translation requirement without reining the budget. So, seeing the website of LSP, you will get some idea about their fee, and whether or not, you can consider them. Once you have shortlisted all the LSPs who come in your budget. You can contact their customer assistant to get detailed knowledge about all discounts and packages. You should also ask them about any hidden costs involved. Because most of the time, they don’t mention the entire cost of services on the website, down the line when clients get to know about the hidden cost that adds up to your fee. So, you should make things clear by asking them in person.

Ending Note

It is important to speak your concerns to your shortlisted top language service providers, in the beginning, to avoid any inconvenience in the future. Simply ask the questions mentioned in this post to have a detailed understanding of any LSP. Moreover, things are quite transparent today, you can see their Google reviews and visit their social media handle to get some idea about the credibility of any LSP.

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