If your business is considering entering a global market, or is part of one already, one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing the right business translation service professionals. A qualified and skilled translator can successfully help you connect with customers, but an unqualified translator can cause embarrassing gaffes or completely alienate your customers.

Here are four qualities to look for in a business translator in order to ensure your language translation company fits the bill:


1. Cost


Beware of language translation company services that offer cut-rate fees – you get what you pay for. A steeply discounted company may not have translators with the skills or cultural background to ensure an accurate translation.


The costs for translation services often vary based upon the destination language, the subject complexity and the location and experience of the translator. When considering cost, look at how the company changes. A per-word rate, as opposed to a hourly or per-page rate, lets you know in advance how much the translation service will cost. Other translation rates make it more difficult to compare prices and may cause unexpected changes in end costs.


2. Agency Reputation and Qualifications


Business contractors often depend on their reputations to ensure continued success. Reputation is even more important when hiring a business translation service. After all, your translator will have your business’ reputation in his or her hands. Check your chosen language translation company’s past clients or references and ask about their ability to meet budgetary constraints and deadlines, as well as the company’s translation quality.


Another way to check the reputation of a business translation service is to check it’s involvement with professional organizations, particularly the American Translators Association. Also, ask if your company will be working with a business translator who is both certified and has taken the language evaluation test in the language you need. Do be aware though that the test isn’t offered in all languages.


3. Translator Experience


Ask your agency if you can receive an anonymized resume of the business translator you may be working with. Also, look for the following to find the highest quality business translation service:


Is your business translator a native speaker? A native speaker can pick up on and convey certain nuances in translation to prevent offended customers or embarrassing mistakes.


How many languages does the business translation company claim to be able to translate in? It is extremely rare to find translators who are fully lingual in more than two or three languages.


Can the candidate write? When searching for a translator, one of the most overlooked skills is basic reading comprehension and writing ability. Request a writing sample from the candidate to determine whether their writing ability meets your standards.


Does the candidate have a niche industry? If your translator has knowledge in a specific industry, they will be able to understand common usage of industry terms and jargon that could be disastrous if misunderstood.

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