Choosing the right translation agency
Do you need to get something translated professionally? Think twice before you pick the first company from the list of paid search results. Just like with any other service, doing some research before selecting the right one is crucial, as translation agencies vary significantly.
Investing time in the initial stage of filtering out the best option for you in terms of standards and experience (within your field of interest) may save you from unforeseen expenses or even commissioning the work to somebody else again. So what are the elements you should be paying attention to?
Much like with any other service or product, there is a clear correlation between price and quality. Are you willing to invest more into a professional translation or you want a cheap machine translation? Using a certified agency may be expensive but it is definitely worth the cost, and it will save you a lot in the long run. Of course choosing the most expensive offering is not necessarily the best option, but choosing the cheapest one surely is the worst one.
Analyze the existing feedback
How do you know if the company’s offerings are actually of acceptable quality? Well, some companies offer testimonials of past clients who used their services and are willing to share their experiences. Do not, however, limit yourself to that only, read as much about the agency as possible in all available sources. It is also advisable to look into the client-base of a given company. If they service individuals mostly, it may be difficult to assess their level of professionalism objectively. However, if most of their clients are corporations, organizations, and government offices, you can be quite sure that they will meet your requirements.
Do not look for companies who just offer translation, look for ones which provide a full package. First of all, you want to be involved in the process of translation, not be a passive observer, It is after all your project, and you want to have some control over it. Therefore a reliable translation agency is one that is open for negotiations and discussions. Guiding the translators through the specification and your preferences can widely limit the possibility of you ending up dissatisfied.
Also, try to find a company that can meet deadlines and has the workforce to deal with more than one job at the same time. While it is not always the case, small agencies tend to be less efficient than big ones who frequently have more staff and resources to assign to your project.
Translators are the heart of the agency, therefore choosing one that hires the best and the most qualified people will guarantee satisfaction. What is more, it is essential to pick a company that specializes in the specific subject matter that you are interested in. While machine translation is getting better and better, it is still the human component that is the brain of the operation.
The quality of service
Always select the company that promises the best quality and has a system in place to monitor that the project is carried out faultlessly. People (even the best ones) make mistakes, that is why proofreaders should be part and parcel of an efficient and professional translation agency.
Certificates and security measures
Always seek agencies which are certified and hold accreditation from organizations such as ATC or EUATC (in the UK). If the translation fails to meet your requirements, you can always contact the certification bodies.
When it comes to security, most professional agencies will follow the highest standards and safety measures to protect your data. If in doubt, always choose a company that holds ISO certificates such as 9001 or 27001.