Keep Costs Low by Using the Right Document Translation Services
Document translation services are core to any localization effort. No matter what you’re localizing, there will be a plethora of different pieces of information that you’ll need to translate to successfully adapt to the external market.
Picking the right translation agency can be difficult, however.
What Differentiates Document Translation Services?
Not all document translation services are created equal, and there is a good chance that you will evaluate at least one service that isn’t the right fit for your company. It’s better to rule out translation agencies with red flags rather than to take a chance on a service which isn’t optimized for your needs.
According to the Cultures Connection, there are at least eight different types of translation services. These range from technical translation to legal translation to simple copy translation. If you’re evaluating a translation agency and you find that it specializes in a type of translation which you won’t be needing, you should look elsewhere. The idioms of legal, scientific, medical, and technical translations are highly specialized, and trying to adapt an agency’s talents to your needs is not a good use of your time.
Your business is too important to risk on a translation agency that isn’t fully competent in the field that you need when translating documents. The specialization of the translation agency isn’t the only important differentiator, however. A report published in Consumer Affairs describes translation agencies as varying with regard to the turnaround time, price, certifications, and overall quality of a translation agency are massively important in your purchasing decision.
While these factors are relevant to most business relationships, document translation services may also vary in terms of their information security features. Especially if your company is handling sensitive information, the best translation agency may be the one that you know will keep your information secure from outsiders.
What Are The Red Flags To Watch For?
It will be tough for your company to know with confidence whether a given document translation service is the right one, even if it appears to fulfill all of your criteria. This means that it can be useful to have a few critical red flags in mind so that you can exclude between similar services.
In terms of the security issues which document translation services may have, Connie Moorhead of Security Infowatch suggests that the biggest problem to be aware of is that some translation services may retain documents for long periods of time.
Asking a prospective document translation service regarding their data disposal protocol will tell you whether you need to look elsewhere or whether you can trust that your data is safe.
According to Jill Krasny at Inc, another major issue is that many document translation services are not forthcoming about the extent that they use automated translating. Automated translations can often leave many tiny errors in documents, causing problems for customers.
While it is to be expected that many companies will use automated translations at least in part, document translation services which rely heavily on automation might leave your company in a difficult spot when there are many small errors that missed editing.
If a prospective document translation service isn’t clear about how their translation process works, there’s a chance that it’s largely automated and a risk that the documents won’t be closely edited by humans.
Reliance on technology shouldn’t end your evaluation of a document translation service, but don’t let it be a selling point. The more a company relies on automated translations, the more you should expect to identify problems with the edge cases in the language of your documents.
How Should We Evaluate The Results?
Evaluating the results of your document translation service’s first run may be a bit difficult. You may not realize it when idioms have been translated literally in a way that doesn’t read correctly in the new language.
Likewise, you may not speak the translated language to a degree where you can proofread the documents. As a result, you may want to have a second document translation service ready to go that you can use as third-party verification of the main service’s efforts.
While this seems like a costly tactic, the benefits to your organization are well-worth the costs. The confidence of knowing that the document translation service that you settled on is reputable will allow you to go forth with peace of mind.
If you’re interested in hearing more tips like these which you can use to gracefully localize your company’s documents or simply to translate them, check out our paper about Using Translation to Connect With and Engage Multilingual Audiences.