In-Depth Guide To Buying A Translation Service

June 16, 2020

Throughout the years, translation services have been persistently high in demand within international businesses, government agencies, and institutions. These services act as bridges, offering translingual writing, skillfully translating texts to fit the community they want to reach, and considering all possible cultural and translingual factors in the text. 

 

Although many language service providers (LSP) are waiting to offer translation or linguistic services, choosing a professional and reliable language company may not be easy. Spotting the right company with top-notch services requires a practiced eye. Here's a comprehensive guide to buying a translation service:

 

1. What Language(s) do you Want to Translate to?

Not all LSPs offer a wide range of languages. Hence, make sure to visit their website and check if your desired language is available. Most certified translation companies can translate to thousands of languages and dialects used worldwide. The more languages a particular translation company offers, the better.

 

2. Determine the Type of Translation Service you Need

While the world of translation is exceptionally diverse, not all companies offer all types of translation services. Thus, make sure you know exactly what kind of translation service you need and see if the company has it. This will help narrow down your list of possible options because these services can sometimes be specialized in a particular industry. Some of the most common translation services they usually provide include:

 

  • Certified Document translation

  • Medical translations

  • Military translation

  • Automotive translation

  • Financial and legal translation

  • Business translation

  • Technical translations

  • Software translation & localization

  • Website translation & localization

  • Multimedia translation

  • Interpretation services

 

3. Do a Background Check 

 

Research is essential when determining whether you should trust a particular professional language service provider for your translation needs. Do a quick background check and online research:

 

  • Do they have expertise in different areas?

  • Who have they previously done work with? 

  • What do customers say about their work? 

  • How long have they been in business?

  • Do they use human translations or AI translation systems?

 

4. Machine vs. Human Translation: Which do You Prefer?

This is crucial when choosing and buying a translation service. You need to know your preferences as these two have differences when it comes to its uses, speed, accuracy, and pricing.

 

Machine translations obviously work faster than human translations. Therefore, if you have tons of content that need to be translated immediately, this is for you. Keep in mind, though, that its quality won't be as good compared to a content translated by a human translator. Moreover, machine translations can't grasp the context of your website's content, meaning you add humor to the text because the machine won't understand. Producing literal translations and misinterpreting words can also lead to problems of all kinds.

 

This is why business users who expect flawless translations should opt for human translations as they understand the text, can do better when it comes to idioms or colloquialisms, and accumulate errors, which is something a machine can't do. A professional human translator can communicate with your clients in their own language, presenting your product or service in a way that they can relate to. 

 

5. Figure Out Your Budget

It is vital to assess your budget and ask for quotations from all the companies that seem trustworthy based on your previous evaluations. Most companies charge per word (per page in some cases), having a minimum fee for smaller-scale projects. The quotation you receive will take into account the kind of service you inquired for, with each requiring different types of expertise and skill. Some extra fees may include whether you need the work rushed, or printed and delivered via courier services. After researching, listing quotations, and comparing costs, you can finally choose the particular company you want to work with based on your budget.

 

Finding the best translation service that can cater to your needs may be tricky, but following these steps will lead you to exactly where you want to be.

 

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