5 tips for choosing the right translation agency

5 tips for choosing the right translation agency


Goodcommunication is vital. If you’re communicating with people or organisationsfrom different countries, at some point you will probably have to work with atranslation agency. But how do you pick the right one? If you’re going to buy acouch for example, you can go to a shop to see it and try it out. It goeswithout saying that this is not the case for translations agencies. Messageswill mostly be sent via email or phone calls. You send your documents throughemail and get them back in another language. If you don’t speak that otherlanguage, you can’t really judge the quality of the end product. We understandthat you might feel somewhat uncertain about this process. So here are 5 tipsto make it easier for you to decide on a trustworthy translation agency.

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1.      Look for specialised translators

Make sure that the translation agency has experience in your line of business. Good translators have an excellent command of their language of course, but that does not mean that they are able to translate all text types. A translator may be great at translating marketing materials for the travel industry but feel less at home with material on the car industry. He or she won’t be familiar with the proper terminology to translate every part of a car manual adequately. This means that you need the services of a specialised translation agency. There are excellent translation agencies with a broad network of translators who pick the right translator for every project. If you sell a product or service that requires specific knowledge, you can always ask an agency for (anonymised) CV’s. This way you can make sure that your translation is done by someone with expert knowledge of your field.

2.      Make sure the translation agency is certified

In the Netherlands there is no such thing as an ‘official translation agency’. There are however hallmarks that signify a translation agency’s trustworthiness. Translation agencies can decide to apply for an ISO 17100-certificate. In order to have this, the agency and its translators need to meet certain requirements. They are also subjected to yearly audits.

3.      Read online reviews of the translation agency

Are you one of those people who scrolls through reviews before placing an order on a website you haven’t used before? You can do the same when you’re ordering a translation! Maybe the translation agency has a feedback section on their website. For instance, Scriptware Translations is working with Feedback Company. Otherwise you’ll probably be able to find out more about the translation agency via Google. Keep in mind that a dissatisfied customer will be more likely to voice their opinion than a happy one. A few negative reviews don’t necessarily mean that the agency is bad. If you see a lot of positive reviews this probably means that the translation agency not only delivers good work but also excellent service.

4.      Confer with the agency about the translation proces and quality assurance

If you have little or no experience with translation agencies, it’s important to make yourself aware of what’s possible. Having someone tell you the difference between machine translation and human translation for example, including the difference in pricing, will provide you with the information you need to make well informed decisions. What about delivery for instance? After you’ve received your translation, you’ll probably try to read it through yourself. But you might want to let someone do this who actually speaks the target language. You may have questions about the layout or certain words. A proper translation agency will always be willing to help with these kinds of issues. Your questions will be answered, and any alterations implemented, after which you will receive a brand new version of your translation.

5.      Ask about technical opportunities

Any half decent translator or translation company uses a variety of tools to work more efficiently and consistently. Without getting into too much detail it is good to know that there are such things as ‘translation memories’ and ‘terminology databases’. These things are mainly in your own interest if you have a large amount of words to be translated or will need translations on a regular basis. Two translators can both deliver a correct translation of the same text, but they will be different. With the help of translation tools these inconsistencies won’t occur. Professional translation companies also offer integration into your own content management system, so you won’t have to copy and paste everything.

Entrust your translation project with Scriptware Translations

There are many factors to consider when choosing a translation agency. If your only looking for a one-off translation of a general document you’ll probably flick through a couple reviews and pick one. But if you’re looking for a long-term translation partner it’s certainly worth your while to take your time and choose a translation agency that meets your demands. Are you considering to work with Scriptware Translations? Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or doubts. We’re happy to tell you more about our method of working.

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