8 Things To Look For In A Translation Agency

1. EXPERIENCE – First and foremost, you need a company that has worked for a long time with the industries, cultures, people, and languages that your projects require. It’s not a bad idea to ask your agency what possible challenges they see in your project, how they have addressed similar challenges in the past, and how they can make that experience count for your current project.

2. NATIVE SPEAKERS – Look for a company that has native speakers for the language in your project on its core team. This greatly supports the likelihood that your project’s words, their core meaning, and the underlying culture of their message are conveyed.

3. FOCUSED EXPERTISE – If the language in your project is specialized (e.g., legal, medical) ask about the specific credentials and experience of the translator(s) assigned to your project.

4. CULTURAL SENSITIVITY – Make sure the company you pick understands the importance of culture in the translation process. Think about the social and cultural factors already embedded in your source message, bring up your specific cultural concerns and see how finely attuned the agency is to them.

5. RELIABILITY & AVAILABILITY – Check whether the company you choose is ready to act right when you are and can meet your deadlines, regardless of time zones.

6. MANAGEMENT RESOURCES– Particularly if your project is very large and/or rush, and/or is formatting-intensive, inquire about how many translators, project managers, and editors will work on the project and how they will coordinate to ensure both timely delivery and quality control.

7. REFERENCES – Don’t just take the agency’s word for how wonderful they are, feel free to ask for references! Good, experienced agencies should have no shortage of satisfied customers ready to give you positive feedback about the work that the agency has done for them.

8. SUCCESS WITH TRIAL PROJECT(S) – In many cases, you may have the option to give the agency a short translation assignment to translate. The more you feel strongly that your project is difficult or delicate, the more you may want to consider this possibility.

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