When you’re looking for quality content translation services, it’s essential to do your research before committing to an agency. Going with the first translation agency that pops up in a paid advertisement can be detrimental to your brand, as not all translation services are equal. It’s always a good idea to take your time and find content translation services that provide efficient and accurate services.
In this article, we’ll review the following:
- Why do you need translation services?
- Whether you should use a freelancer or an agency.
- How to find the best content translation services.
If you’re planning on reaching a global audience in their native languages, keep reading.
Why Do You Need to Translate Your Content?
Communicating with an audience in their native language builds trust in your brand. Consumers are more likely to buy from a company that talks to them in their own language. However, if you send ambiguous messages or content that’s difficult to understand, your audience won’t pay attention to your brand.
Using a professional content translation service can help you capture the nuances of your content accurately, in a way that automatic AI translators will never be able to do. That’s why many businesses, brands, and blogs turn to professionals to help translate and localize their content.
What should you do to find the best content translation service for your company’s needs? How do you find a good translator for the target language? There are a few things that you can look at to make sure that you get the best quality service possible.
Freelancer VS. Agency— Which is Better?
Translating is about much more than being able to speak two languages. A translator needs an in-depth knowledge of the linguistics, culture, customs, and sayings of the target language. It’s a technical skill that requires the translator to understand the audience’s local jargon and terminology while being able to write an article that maintains good flow and grammar.
In the translation industry, this process is called localization. The translator will work with the nuances and intricacies of one language and bring it across into another without losing the piece’s meaning. This is a complicated task, which is why there’s no such thing as a ‘standard translating task.’ Each assignment is an intricate, unique project.
Using an agency guarantees that you’ll get professional and knowledgeable translation services. You’ll be able to access skilled and experienced translators while the agency exercises quality control on your behalf. Typically, an agency’s team undergoes rigorous training and testing processes, enabling them to deliver top-quality content consistently.
Agencies also have a larger capacity than freelancers do. Agencies are used to handling large volumes of text and often have more than one person working on a project. Freelancers usually work alone, which will cause longer waiting periods for project completion. Agencies offer translation to more than one language, another aspect for which freelancers usually can’t cater.
What Should You Look for in a Content Translation Agency?
Once you start looking for content translation services, you’ll see how many agencies are available. Not all are made equal, and thorough research is necessary as it may be challenging to find one that offers the services, languages, and quality you need.
Choosing a good translation service has a lot to do with your preferences and project requirements. If it’s a large project, you may focus more on turnaround time, where a small, once-off translation that’ll only be used in-house will allow you to focus solely on price.
Here are some of the most important traits we embody at Captain Words, and you should consider each one carefully before choosing an agency with which to work.
Quality and Accuracy
One thing that you should never compromise on is the quality and accuracy of the service. It’s essential that the translator can write the text in the target language using native linguistics without losing any original meaning. A quality translation will do just that— convey the original message clearly in the localization required.
Linguistic accuracy isn’t the only consideration when it comes to quality. The agency you’re looking at should have quality control procedures that will allow only the highest quality released clients. These controls include proofreading translations by other native speakers to ensure accuracy. When your project requires fast turnaround times, you want to be assured that fast translations are still accurate.
Depending on your country of operation, you can consider certification, which will add to the knowledge that the agency will deliver quality work. Security is another consideration. You need to know that your text is confidential, especially if it’s sensitive. If privacy is a major concern, consider looking for an agency with a ISO27001 security certification.
Ensure that there’s a confidentiality agreement in place and that your text is only available to the translators and managers working with your project.
Service and Support
Translation is a fluid service that may require clarifying questions and several discussions. Ensure that you have an open line of communication with your representative at the agency, and that there’s full transparency. The translation should be a collaborative process.
Finally, ensure that the agency you choose can work with adjustable timeframes and deadlines. Ideally, you want the agency to handle various projects at once. This is especially crucial if you’re looking at larger volumes over time. Larger firms often have the staff and skills necessary for these kinds of projects.
Translator Languages and Experience
Any agency worth hiring will employ translators who speak several languages, aside from their mother tongue, fluently. Simply being knowledgeable about a language doesn’t guarantee that a writer will be able to capture its unique traits, tones, and jargon. Employing native speakers is a vital component of any translation service.
Your industry may also affect the quality of your content and the agency’s ability to meet your needs. Ask the agency if they’ve ever worked in your specific industry, especially if it’s technical. You don’t want to commit to an agency that takes on the work and worry about how they’re going to deliver.
Machine translations have become ever popular. It has its place, but the machine translations won’t capture a natural tone or use local terms. Opt for agencies who make the most of technology while also taking advantage of their experts. Be wary of those agencies that lean too heavily on software for translation purposes. Native speakers can pick up on unnatural phrasing quickly, and it can be detrimental to your brand.
It may be challenging to properly evaluate the quality of translations if you don’t understand the target language. This is where testimonials become essential. Look for detailed testimonials from past clients, both positive and negative. Ask for references. A reputable agency won’t hesitate to put you in contact with previous customers.
You can evaluate a content translation agency by the clients that use their service. Look for government agencies, blue-chip companies, and well-known NGOs. The client list will indicate how trustworthy the agency is, along with the quality of work they deliver.
In an ideal world, price won’t be a consideration. However, every project comes with a budget. Price should be the last aspect to consider of a good translation agency. You’ll be able to find many low-price agencies when you do an online search. When it comes to translation, you get what you pay for, so be careful.
Get quotes from more than one agency and consider one that’s willing to match the price of its competitors. You shouldn’t accept being overcharged, even if it’s a top-notch agency.
Find the Best Content Translation Service
Now that you know what to look out for, you can start looking at content translation services. Here are some questions to ask and aspects to look out for that can help make the decision easier.
How the Agency Chooses Translators
Most professional agencies make use of freelancers and build up a network of trusted vendors. You can find out more about the tests that the translators take to qualify for work. Not all agencies expect the same levels from their vendors, and you should ensure that you’ll receive the quality work you wish. Ask about the status of education the vendor should have, including their skills and experience.
Very few agencies still use teams of in-house translators, so if an agency does have a team, they’ll have a clear advantage. A team can deliver consistently high-quality translations that you can trust.
Technology the Agency Uses
Most professional translation services make use of software. Ask them about computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools that the agency uses. These tools help improve the quality of translations and can lower costs.
These tools are indicative of an agency that keeps up with technology and development, which implies that they can offer processes and services that are ever more efficient and intelligent. However, keep in mind that translation tools can only do so much. Don’t hesitate to ask the agency how often they rely on these tools to complete translations.
Stability and Employee Turnover
You want to build a partnership with content translation services, and the worst thing that can happen is if the agency suddenly shuts down. To gain insight into their stability, find out how long they’ve been in business. You may also want to look at employee turnover; losing a translator mid-project could be catastrophic.
What Other Services Do They Offer
If you find one agency that can offer all the translation and writing services you need, you can dramatically cut costs. You’ll also have the opportunity to build a relationship with a team that will understand your communication needs, goals, and brand. The content that goes out to the public gets better as the translators get to know the style, voice, tone, and terminology you require.
You can ask what languages the agency offers to give you an idea if they’re able to handle all your current and future translation needs. Suppose the agency can provide services in a wide variety of languages. In that case, you won’t have to look for another agency later on, and the relationship you’ve built with the agency can ensure long-term work.
Evaluate the Agency’s Service
Reach out to the agency to determine how responsive they are on various channels, like email and telephone conversations. Decide whether they’re spending adequate time on your query and whether the team is enthusiastic about gaining your business. They should ask about your needs and give you an idea of what it would be like to work with them.
Find out if you’ll have a designated contact person that you’re going to work with, and they’ll be able to meet to discuss your needs. Also, remember to note your preferred method of communication with the agency.
Evaluate the Processes and Procedures
Ask the agency about the management processes and the procedures they use to make sure their services are efficient. Will you be able to monitor the status of each piece? Ensure that the methods and processes will allow the translation services to get your work done quickly and efficiently.
Contact Your Network
The best way to find a reliable agency is to ask others in your network. You’ll get honest feedback and can ask about why they found the agency to be reliable. You can also find out more about the quality of the work, how long it took the translators to finish, and the costs involved. Your network will give you the benefits and drawbacks of working with specific content translation services.
Final Thoughts: Find a Content Translation Services Partner
Finding good content translation services is a crucial part of communicating with marketing in various languages. You need to consider a few aspects before deciding which agency to use, including the quality of the work, the agency’s experience, and how they choose their translators. Ask around before deciding to get honest input from others who’ve used the services. Ensure that the agency can meet your needs in the long run to build a successful relationship with the agency.
Keep in mind that you’re looking for a partner rather than just an agency. At Captain Words, we prioritize building a relationship with our clients, enabling us to understand your unique individual needs. In turn, we provide accurate content translation services at a premium price, with access to native speakers around the globe. Book a demo with us today.