Trying to find a quality translation provider at a budget-friendly price shouldn’t have to be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
At one point or another, you may find yourself trying to compare services that seem pretty similar, making a decision about which translation provider to choose. A large part of any purchase decision is undoubtedly cost. But as you may know if you’ve ever gone with the least costly option and discovered you get what you pay for—sometimes making a decision based on price alone can lead you down the wrong path.
Instead, we advise you to consider cost in addition to other critical factors, so you can make a balanced decision. We’ve come up with a few questions you should pose to each translation provider you’re considering before making your selection.
Does the translation provider have processes in place to analyze quality at every step?
Assured quality comes at a price, it’s true. A low-cost option can mean inadequate quality control measures and less due diligence. And without due diligence to ensure high-quality results, you may end up spending more in the long run when costly rework is required.
Instead of focusing on the lowest-cost option, be sure your vendor has processes in place to monitor and analyze quality every step of the way. By monitoring this throughout the entire translation workflow, you can avoid possible mishaps and ensure higher-quality translations.
Another important element to consider is your translation provider’s selection of linguists. Since linguists serve as the core of quality translations, you want to be sure your translation provider is thoroughly evaluating a linguist for the best match before assigning him or her to your projects. Your provider should also be tracking a linguist’s performance with each project.
Does the translation provider offer a centralized translation management system?
If you have ever sat at your desk, pounding your head and wondering where your translation project sits, you understand the frustration that comes with not having a centralized translation management system. Complete centralization means that you’re never facing undue risk when it comes to your translation deliverables—because everything is tracked and kept up-to-date in one central system. Without a centralized translation management system, you may be deprived of full visibility and the ability to utilize as a whole your entire company’s translation memories from disparate business units.
By partnering with a professional language service provider, you can alleviate the heavy lifting by using a cloud-based platform that enables you to track every project every step of the way. Approvers and requestors alike can work inside the system and have visibility into the entire workflow. What does that mean for you? Boosting quality while saving time and money!
Does the translation provider offer translation memory—and consider it your intellectual property?
Translation memory can save you a lot of money, but not everybody understands the true benefits. By consolidating your translation memory within a translation management platform, the per-word fee is greatly reduced, resulting in lower translation costs. Not to mention it can significantly decrease the time it would otherwise take for a linguist to translate new material. This results in faster turnaround times and increased translation accuracy and consistency.
Remember, not all translation memory is created equal. Do your research and be sure your translation provider has the most up-to-date technology and offers the best solution for your translation needs.
You should also make sure the translation memory is considered your intellectual property and will remain with you at all times. Not all vendors are willing to let you access your translation memory directly. And you certainly shouldn’t be charged extra for this.
Does the translation provider offer a scalable model?
If your translation needs continue to grow each year, you want to be sure your translation provider can grow with you. If you find out down the road that they can’t scale to your needs—in terms of process and technology—you will be facing a possible last-minute vendor switch which can equate to more hassle than necessary.
A scalable translation provider will have the capacity to simultaneously translate thousands of words into a variety of languages in any given day. It is simply impossible to achieve that level of translation services if you’re working with a few independent translators or small single-language translation providers.
Be sure your translation provider has the most efficient technology to get the job done, no matter how big the project.
When shopping for a translation provider, avoid thinking solely in terms of cost. Instead, think about how much value you’re getting from their services. After all, a seemingly inexpensive provider could end up costing you far more than what’s on the monthly invoice—like a whole lot of intangible inefficiencies and potential costly rework.
Kelly Ogburn is a Marketing professional for one of the industry-leading language service providers, Sajan. Kelly grew up in a small town in Minnesota and moved to Salamanca, Spain in 2009 to continue her Spanish studies. She is fluent in English and Spanish and enjoys traveling around the world and learning about new cultures.
Currently, Kelly resides in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota and is passionate about writing blogs related to the Translation & Localization Industry.