Tips + Tools: Selecting a Language Services Provider

Entering a new market can be challenging—from unfamiliar cultures and languages, to different laws and regulations to localization considerations. How can you be sure you are selecting a translation team that has the experience and the training to accurately convey your message in the target language and culture?

Welocalize Life Sciences offers the following tips for selecting the right language services provider to ensure a successful translation process:

 Price is only one factor. Quality, skilled translators cost more. However, selecting the higher priced language services provider does not guarantee the best translation or accuracy. Other factors to consider include experience, quality, technology and more. And, while the lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive a poor-quality translation, rock bottom pricing could mean providers are cutting corners. For example, they may choose not to follow a multi-step quality process. Instead, they use one translator and skip the editing and proofreading stages by other team members. Find out more about the true cost of translation.

 Staffing decisions. Just who is really doing your translations? Are you working with a one-person show, or does the provider have a large pool of translators to source from? Were all those translators carefully screened and tested during candidate selection process? Does the agency require its translators to be degreed? Does it have an in-house certification program? Translator selection criteria should include native fluency in the target language, a linguistic degree from one of the world’s major universities or language schools, industry specialization demonstrated by an advanced degree or specialty translation experience and more.

Use translation memory (TM) tools. Translation memory (TM) software analyzes repetitive text in the source documents and then queries a translation memory database to identify previously translated segments. TM ensures consistency of terminology, expedites future revisions, and reduces translation costs. Consistency is improved because the TM software will always propose the same translation for the same source sentence. Even a large group of translators, working from different locations, can produce consistent translations, provided they work from the same translation memory. TM, together with other tools such as computer-aided translation (CAT) tools and machine translation (MT), provide distinct advantages that create powerful tools to streamline translation and localization processes. Find out how Welocalize Life Sciences uses technology to speed up the translation process.

Centralize the translation process. Successful translation is also an internal initiative. Often time, global companies with several offices around the world rely on their distributors, agents and representatives in other countries to do the translations.  By “centralizing” translation management via one department, a core contact team, or even a designated project manager, companies can streamline all translation efforts and communicate their messages across to various countries more consistently, effectively and, often, less expensively.

For more tips on selecting the best language services provider for your projects, read our recent blog post.