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Guide to Choosing a Language Services Provider

Content guide to choosing a language services provider

 

Nowadays, with the indisputable globalization of most markets, many professionals and companies seek to export their products and services in the hope to increase revenue. During this process, one of the biggest challenges they encounter is the language barrier: from the translation of a contract or a website to the user’s manual of your product – hiring a language service provider is now part of the workflow and budget of most companies.

Still, looking for the right professionals to work with requires care and consideration if to avoid issues in the collaboration as well as ensure no future problems due to poor, low-quality translations. With that in mind, after you chose the language you will be working with, it is important to factor in some points about the potential translation agency or language service provider you will hire. But first, you should understand what services they are actually able to offer.

What is a Language Service Provider (LSP)

Essentially, an LSP (Language Service Provider) entails the same as a Translation Agency or even a Localization Company, but the first term has become more popular around Europe in the last few years. So, instead of each term having a different meaning as to what kind of services they provide, it usually comes down to each organization to decide which areas of the translation industry they cover, regardless of how they call themselves.

Once you choose your language, try to think about what sort of services you will require. Usually, Language Service Providers cover the following activities, among others:

  • General Translations (documents, websites, advertisements, books, etc.)
  • Editing and Proofreading of translated materials
  • Copy Writing or Transcreation
  • Localization
  • Simultaneous Interpretation
  • Language Training Services

How to choose a global language services provider

There are an array of aspects to watch out for when starting a business collaboration, and it goes without saying that much of it is often based on your personal discretion rather than an actual system. Still, when dealing with translation services, there are indeed factors to be highlighted, especially when what you look for is great service, not good service.

Reliability via customer recommendations/personal indication

Generally, this is the first factor most people keep an eye out for when establishing a new business partnership and within the translation, industry is no different. If the website of a given agency or service provider has no reliable recommendations from customers, how do you know if it provides quality service? The same principle works for personal indications: If you arrived at company X by someone’s indication, it will consequently have greater credibility. Meanwhile, if you go to a company at random, you are likely to seek this credibility in the recommendations section.

Stability and recognition

This factor is similar to reliability but it is more about what the translation service provider has accomplished through its work than just the name of the company itself. Here, it is worth checking out the history of the agency: how it has engaged with clients in the past through social media; the number of followers and any current campaigns or news feed; blogs discussing updated market tendencies; possible prizes and qualifications it has won, among other things.

Support before, during, and after

In addition to having a clear FAQ section to cover the main doubts that may arise prior to the first contact, a good language service provider must maintain this interactive and helpful relationship throughout the collaboration. It should also be flexible to meet your deadlines, review documents, and answer any questions you may have even after the completion of a task.

Agility and quality of service

Ideally, you will be looking for a combination of both: a punctual service provider that understands your requests and gets the job done within the deadline but without overlooking quality. Even if this is what everyone seeks, not many agencies are able to deliver. Although agility may be a bit trickier to examine, at least in terms of quality you can inquire about the qualifications of their professionals as well as any certificates the company might have been awarded in the past.

An understanding of your market

Last but not least, the professional you will choose for your translation task should have a good understanding of your specific market as well as deep knowledge of the language they will be translating into. Moreover, a familiarity with the terms of your market is essential so that there are no obstacles in the communication between you, the translation agency, and ultimately, your customer. Hence, choose a language and look for companies that know how to translate your idea into the world of a specific market.