Choosing the Right Language Service Provider: 4 Useful Tips
Every business dreams of going global, but it’s tough. You must overcome many challenges, like making your brand relatable to the new audience. They need to connect with your brand for it to succeed and build a strong identity.
Many companies assume their local image will work everywhere, but just having an English page won’t guarantee a consistent global image.
In today’s globalized world, even small businesses can go international thanks to the internet. International customers prefer content in their own language. This presents a challenge, which can be solved by hiring language service providers (LSPs).
Significance of LSP
Language service providers are multifaceted in nature. They do not only offer translation services from one language to another but provide localization solutions as well. LSPs are catering to a global need. Hence, it’s quite a competitive market space. Organizations often see a lot of translation services providing localization solutions to businesses. This poses a challenge in choosing the right one.
- Choosing the Right LSP for Your Business
- 1- Language Portfolio
- Option of a Single Language Vendor
- Choosing a Multiple Language Vendor
- Utilizing Strategic Management for Opting LSP
- The Other Side of the Coin
- 2- Technical Prowess
- Utilizing Translation Management Tool
- 3- Quality Centric Approach over Quantity
- It’s Not How You Start But How You Finish
- Documented Quality Assurance Process
- Importance of Second Opinion
- Raising Standards
- 4- Pricing Policy
Choosing the Right LSP for Your Business Localization
If you are unable to decide which LSP is the best one for you, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss important factors that you should keep in mind when you are about to choose a Language Service Provider (LSP). So let us discuss some of them;
1) Language Portfolio
The fundamental aspect that organizations need to ponder upon is to decide which and how many languages they need. And this parameter has to be prioritized before you decide to opt for a language service provider. Your selected LSP must be able to cater to your language needs.
a) Option of a Single Language Vendor
If you require 2 to 3 languages, then you do not need a multiple-language vendor. Rather, the better approach would be to acquire the services of freelance translators. This option will give you the opportunity to get a more personalized experience. And would enable a more customer-oriented approach that focuses on your needs.
b) Choosing a Multiple Language Vendor
On the contrary, if you desire more than 3 languages or are looking for a specific language such as Persian, Urdu, Spanish, German, Italian, etc., the best option is to avail the services of a multiple-language vendor. They would have a large number of linguists with well-credentialed expertise and solid translating experience.
c) Utilizing Strategic Management for Opting Language Service Provider
Strategic management is imperative when you select a language service provider. Organizations need to be efficient in their processes and select an LSP according to the size of their project.
So for instance, if the project requires translation in 6 to 10 languages, then the smart thing to do would be to go for a single language service provider. On the other hand, if you choose to take assistance from multiple LSPs or freelancers, the probability of you not being able to manage would be high.
d) The Other Side of the Coin
While language service providers (LSPs) benefit many organizations, they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Management should research and choose the right LSP that aligns with their company’s mission, effectively reaches the foreign market, and communicates the message effectively using appropriate terminology.
2) Technical Prowess
The translation industry has evolved with time. Initially, translation was all about transferring words and phrases from one language to another. But now the focus has shifted from linguistic prowess to technical prowess.
Hence, if you want an LSP that does not discard its non-linguistic assets, then you should ask the following questions before subscribing to one;
- Can LSP stay in touch with you throughout the translation process via the usage of the latest technological tools?
- Does the LSP take the initiative to enhance translation tools, so that they can upgrade their performance?
- Does the LSP have an efficient platform that can handle large translation projects?
a) Utilizing the Translation Management Tool
Translation is a complex process involving document sharing, which can be time-consuming and challenging to manage via emails and spreadsheets. To improve efficiency, consider using a translation management tool. It will enhance translation quality and boost client satisfaction.
Therefore, it’s important that you choose an LSP that utilizes such translation management tools or platforms.
3) Quality Centric Approach over Quantity
No matter how technical or efficient an LSP becomes, one thing that cannot be substituted is the people. People are what constitutes a successful LSP. Every professional translator and interpreter, proofreader, and editor plays his part to make the translated content better. And ultimately that is what matters the most.
a) It’s Not How You Start But How You Finish
Your consumers are not going to judge how you start your translation process, but how well you finish it. And were you able to provide a quality-oriented product?
Therefore, one should see whether the following elements are present in the Language Service provider;
- What are the selection criteria or how well is the screening process of an LSP to hire new professional translators?
- Does the LSP provide any sort of additional training to the linguists before asking them to work on a project?
- Does the LSP compromise in quality in order to submit the work on time?
- Is there a proper mechanism in place that checks the quality standards of the translated content?
- How well sought is the LSP’s customer service department?
- Does the management of the LSP adopt a customer-centric approach or not?
- Before opting for a Language service provider, one should review the feedback from previous clients of that particular LSP.
- Does the LSP have a proper system in place that ensures data protection and maintains confidentiality?
b) Documented Quality Assurance Process
A very important factor that should never skip your checklist when you opt for a language service provider is the assurance of a quality documentation process. This will consist of translating passages and content from one language to another. But will also enforce the LSP to provide multiple proofreading services. Plus a solid editing check as well.
c) Importance of Second Opinion
Relying on just a few linguists is not the right way to go about the translation process. Sure, their expertise and experience should never be undermined, but it is always better to get a second opinion. After all, the ultimate goal of the LSP is to satisfy the client.
d) Raising Standards
Set higher standards when selecting a language services provider. If they don’t meet your requirements, the chances of them delivering above-par translations are low.
Moreover, you should verify and see if the language service provider is offering the following;
- Records of pieces of training given to the linguists would be handling your documents
- Information recorder in documents pertaining to all the compliance audits.
- Solid proof of quality measures taken during translation processes.
4) Pricing Policy
If there were a few Language service providers competing in the market to occupy the share, then it would have been very easy for consumers to select one from them. Since there are a large number of LSPs offering their services at different prices, it becomes difficult for customers to choose one that will provide the best quality at an affordable price.
When it comes to the price of an LSP, there are certain factors that you should consider;
- Never select a language service provider that is offering the lowest pricing in the marketplace. There is a high chance that such LSPs will compromise the quality.
- LSPs that have a bad image among their competitors should be avoided at all costs.
- Opt for a language service provider for long-term collaboration to enjoy discounts and promotions.
It’s hard to find quality-oriented language service providers without doing some research. But ultimately, it’s all worth it in the end. If an organization is serious about global expansion and penetration into a foreign market, then the selection of an LSP is the rudimentary step that must be taken.
In this article, we tried our best to provide you with some important information that will assist you in your research to find the best language service provider for your business. Just make sure that the LSP does not compromise when it comes to; customer support, quality, and overall efficiency in its operations.