5 criteria to choose a translation agency

5 criteria to choose a translation agency

When you contact a translation agency, it’s because you’re looking for high quality results. Find out more about the 5 criteria to take into consideration.

1. The agency’s reputation

Before contracting a translation agency it’s wise to inquire about their trustworthiness. First of all, does the said company have a website? If so, check the information on the website and get an idea of the provided services by looking through this “window” into the company’s operations. Likewise, take advantage of the magical tool that is the World Wide Web to find reviews posted by other clients, if any. Do they recommend this agency’s services? Were they satisfied customers? For the same purposes, use online platforms such as ProZ.com to check the reliability of translation agencies and translators.

2. Services provided by professional translators

In theory, a translation company takes care of assigning your projects to the most skilled translators. But what about the actual practice? If you want to play it safe, don’t be afraid to ask for the CVs of translators who will be working on your project(s). Ask about their academic background, training, areas of specialization, and experience, all of which will make a difference on the quality of your translations. Of course, once you’ve established a relationship of trust with your translation agency, this step is no longer essential.

3. Quality of translation services

It goes without saying that when you contact a translation agency, it’s because you’re looking for high quality results. This is even more the case if you intend to have your document published, sent to a business partner, etc. In order to ensure reliable results, be sure to assign your project to a translator who specializes in the area your project pertains to. Whether it be a business, legal, or medical document, only an expert in the field will be able to deliver a flawless translation. Take a moment to talk with your project manager and make sure that your project is assigned to the right person.

4. Delivery times

The delivery time is also a criteria that you need to take into consideration. Do you need a translation in a hurry? Some agencies stand out due to their fast turnaround time, which they are able to achieve thanks to their reliance on a large network of professional translators. But beware that “urgency” is not always synonymous with “quality”! If a translation agency makes their translators churn out 5000 words a day, the job quality will likely be untrustworthy. In such cases, the key is to distribute the work to multiple translators and then homogenize the end result.

5. Price

Last, but certainly not least, the rates! There are numerous translation agencies, making it a competitive market. Search your prospective agency’s value for money as well as the various types of services available on the market. Once you’re well informed, choose the solution that fits your budget and expectations best.

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This article has been written by Lola

Lola studied Translation and Interpreting at University of Liège (Belgium). She currently lives in Buenos Aires and works at Cultures Connection.