Multi-language vendors (MLVs) often outsource projects to different language translation companies on a subcontractor basis.
If you are a MLV wanting to outsource a language translation project to a translations subcontractor, here are some tips that can help you in your choice:
Does the translation company support a team (ideally teams) of in-house native speaker translators?
Ideally, translators should only translate into their mother tongue and preferably live in a country that speaks the target language. A team of native speaker experts, who work on a local basis, ensure optimum translation and localisation.
Is the translation company a full-service one/one that offers a complete portfolio of language services?
While some language services vendors specialise in only one or two language services (e.g. translation, interpreting, localisation), it is best that you choose a vendor that offers a complete portfolio of services (translation, back translation, interpreting, localisation, proofreading, transcription, voice-over and DTP services). Translation companies that provide multiple services have more experience, thus ensuring your project is in good hands from start to finish and that you receive a finished file ready for further usage and distribution.
Does the translation company have the capacity to handle projects of high volumes at tight deadlines?
A translation company should support a large team of in-house native speaker translators and, if required by the high volume of your project, to assign an additional number of freelance translators, quality coordinated by in-house proof-readers and project management. A language services provider which supports a large team of translators and a complete service portfolio has the capacity to handle high volume projects at tight deadlines.
Does the translation company support an in-house IT team?
An in-house experienced specialist IT team provides customers with answers to any and all technical language-related questions.
Does the translation company use translation software to support and facilitate the translation process?
A translation company generally supports its clients in all aspects of translation in its of translation memory tools, thus improving translation efficiency, ensuring consistency of terminology and reuse of previously translated material, reducing the throughout time and cost while simultaneously enhancing quality.
Does the translation company have experience in a given industry sector and can it provide references for successfully completed projects?
Find out about the translation vendor’s experience in the industry which you will require translations in and how many projects they have completed.
Ask if any customer and area-specific dictionaries and glossaries are kept and how they are kept. Dictionaries can assure the consistency of terminology in the translation for a given industrial filed. Ideally, area-specific dictionaries should be kept in an electronic format and incorporated into the translation memory tool.
Ask for references from satisfied customers. Past performance in is a clear indicator of the quality of their language services. However, some top company may have confidentiality agreements in place which do not allow references.
How does the translation company assure quality?
The number one factor when choosing a language project subcontractor must be an effective and exacting in-depth quality assurance control which is carried by an in-house Quality Assurance department.
Ask how the translations subcontractor recruits its translators; what qualifications they have and how experienced they are.
Ask how advanced the project management is. Project managers shall coordinate the teams of in-house and external translators as well as the IT specialists. It has responsibility for evaluating the client’s requirements, the costs involved and the deadlines. Ideally, a project manager is coordinated and supported by an operations manager, who acts as the central contact person for the client, thereby ensuring an efficient friendly one-stop complete service.
Finally, take into account the total number of years the translation company has been in business and its reputation.