5 Mistakes to avoid when hiring a translation agency

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Translation Agency

Much like any other industry, care needs to be taken when hiring a professional translation. You want to ensure you are getting not only top-notch service and having your needs fulfilled, but also that you are getting the best value for your money.

Here are a couple of mistakes which could quickly take you out of such an advantaged position.

1 Choose carefully

The worst mistake you could ever make is awarding your work to an unqualified translation team. No matter how you look at it, there is the tendency that these people cause more harm than good for you at the end of the day.

Before putting a translation agency in charge of your project, you should:

  • Check out their website
  • Check to see if the agency are certified to work in that capacity (ISO 9001 certification, etc.)
  • Ask for a test translation
  • Check customer references and testimonials

2 Know what you need

Before reaching out to a translation agency at all, it is important that you know just what you need. This is the best way to ensure you have those needs communicated clearly so that they can be met. Otherwise, you might be left with mediocre service which you won’t be able to use.

Thus, take the time out to:

  • Decide in how many languages you want the translation in
  • How quickly you need the translation back by
  • What exactly needs to be translated (images with text, text only, etc.)
  • Additional elements in your document (charts, tables, graphics, etc.), and
  • Desktop publishing (layout) needs (eg: Adobe InDesign for catalogues and brochures, WordPress for websites, etc.)

3 Get a quote and confirmation in writing

There should be at least an email confirming the translation project with the translation agency you have chosen. This will help both parties, make it easier for you to get revisions (where need be) and exercise all other rights which you might miss out on otherwise.

Likewise, a written quote will help clarify the situation if any additional charges are applied which were not specified in the original agreement.

We do not recommend agreeing on anything by word of mouth as such agreements tend to be open to interpretation. As a rule, make sure your quote contains:

  • A well-spelt out description of the service you are looking to get from the translation agency
  • The due date for the project and
  • Project costs.

4 Ask for references

One common mistake clients make is assuming all translators can handle all translation jobs. The truth is, you can only get the best results if the translator is familiar with the subject matter your document is based in.

Be it marketing, health, politics, business or any other area of expertise, you will do better with a translation agency experienced in that territory. That is how you get specialized services rather than a generic delivery.

5 Never choose the cheapest quote

Good translation services should not put a dent in your pocket, but many people still look for the cheapest service. It is little surprise that they get cheap or very bad translations back.

When you look at the quotes of reputable translation agencies, you are not only seeing the pricing for that service. Part of that pricing is for the trust you can have in them to deliver once you pay.

They have gone through rigorous hiring processes for qualified translators to handle your project with a high degree of detail, and you are getting nothing short of such great service.