There are tens of thousands of language service providers in existence, each with their own niche market and service offerings. Sifting through them is impossible, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for.
One of the first choices you will make is between hiring freelance translators or a translation agency. Your company’s specific needs will determine which is a better option.
|You translate into very few languages.||Your content is translated into numerous languages.|
|You have a native speaker in your company to verify all translations (for every qualified freelance translator, there is one with a fake resume).||You need translators who are highly specialized in a number of different industries.|
|You are generally able to give lots of notice for deadlines.||You sometimes have short deadlines and need translations quickly.|
|You have time to manage and communicate with translators yourself.||You don’t want to manage multiple translators and proofreaders.|
|You translate no more than a couple of documents each week - or less.||You have ongoing translation needs.|
If you decide to go with an agency, you may choose one that offers cloud website translation. This software is the simplest solution to a multilingual website - it eliminates the need for custom coded implementations, multilingual CMS, and resources spent on tech. It streamlines the translation process, making publishing and updating content automatic. However, the quality and features of cloud systems vary significantly.
Another useful technology is translation memory. With translation memory, your previously translated content is stored to be automatically reused when words/phrases are repeated. This saves you time and money, and is essential if you have lots of content on your website.
In-context translation is an innovative tool that allows translators to see exactly what the translated text will look like on your website. Choosing providers with this feature results in more efficient translation and fewer embarrassing misunderstandings.
Last but certainly not least, choose a provider that clearly outlines what kind of quality you can expect. Some questions to consider:
Expect clear answers, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.