So you've decided you need a translator. Perhaps your business operates internationally, of a significant…
While the benefits of having a professional translation company on hand for your business are many, there are seemingly more frustrations than benefits that go along with the hiring process. But hiring professional translation services doesn’t have to be confusing or stressful, even when you are doing it for the first time. When you are equipped with the right information and know what questions are important to ask before hiring, hiring itself will become a much more seamless and concise process. In this post, we will discuss eight questions you should always ask before hiring a company for their translation services.
- Will You Offer Me a Free Quote on The Services? The answer you want to hear is “yes”. If a translation company balks upon hearing you ask this or is hesitant to be forthright about costs, it’s a serious red flag. Reputable translation companies are committed to transparency and will happily supply you with a free quote for the services you are looking for. Another general rule you should apply is asking the company to provide you with that price quote in writing before you hire them. This way, both you and the company have a clear understanding of the cost before getting started.
- What Experience do You Have in Translating Work Similar to Mine? No two translation companies are alike; some will offer a variety of translation services such as medical, legal, and technical while others might only specialize in translating marketing material. Make sure that the translation company you hire has extensive experience in translating the kind of text you need translated. If you need a translator for legal texts, you want a company that will provide you with a translator who is an expert in that area. If you need a translator for marketing purposes, you want someone who knows how to convert your message into a way the target audience in that country will understand and pay attention to.
- Do You Have The Right Resources to Prepare For Regional Differences? Spain for example, is a country with many different dialects and cultural differences that will significantly impact the way a language is interpreted and absorbed. Clearly, you do not want a translation services agency that will translate text to the Spanish that residents of Mexico speak when you are trying to reach a target audience in Spain where the language is vastly different. Ask the company how they prepare for regional differences and how they will effectively reach your audience.
- Will a Native Speaker be Translating my Text? Many translators are exceptionally fluent in languages that are not their native tongue. While they are most certainly qualified to translate text, it might be personally important to you to hire a translator who is a native speaker in the text you need translated. This will make it easier for you to know that the text is being translated into such a way that your target audience will understand fully. The translator who is a native speaker in the language you are having translated will also know how to translate the text while considering the cultural differences that often affect language.
- Does The Translator Understand my Industry? Naturally, you would not want a translator to translate medical text if they have only ever translated marketing materials. And you wouldn’t want a translator who specializes in translating websites to translate your legal documents. Make sure that you are picking a translation services company that will supply you with a translator who has experience in a certain field and fully understands the language of that industry.
- Are You Able to Meet my Deadlines? In many industries, time is of the essence. A translated document will be of little to no use to you if you receive it late. Make sure that the translation services company you pick has a reputation for timeliness. And before hiring the company, make sure that the both of you have a firm deadline set in place that both parties understand and agree to. It is wise to get this in writing.
- Can You Provide References? Just as you would do when hiring any other type of contractor or business that offers you a service, you want to get some references. You need to speak to people who have already received translation services from the company in the past and will say positive things about their experience with them. You should also speak to current clients that the translation services company has. If the company has multiple clients that continually use them for their services, that is a good sign. In addition to asking for references that you can speak to, do a little of your own online digging. Look for positive reviews on the translation services company’s website and check out reviews on other parts of the web.
- What Can You Tell Me About Your Experience? You want to ask the company how long they have been in business. The number of years they have existed will tell you something about how high quality their services are. In addition to asking how long the company has been in existence, ask how many years of experience the translators have. Just because a translator might be new doesn’t mean they will be bad at their job, but it is understandable that you would want a translator who already has years of experience under their belt.