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How to Select the Best Translation Vendor

In a previous article I spoke about concerns when using internal staff for translations. The next alternative is giving translations to an outside vendor. A Translation vendor plays an important role in ensuring the accuracy of the translated content. However, if the vendor is not qualified for the job, the translated content may not be as effective as the original content and in a worst case scenario, be misleading. Here are some guidelines for criteria, which need to be taken into consideration when selecting a vendor for translation.

Experience Working in the Domain:

While choosing translation vendors, you need to verify whether they have the experience of working in your specific subject area. Confirm whether the vendor has a pool or group of translators, who have sufficient knowledge in the said domain. Translators, who have subject knowledge, better comprehend the source content, and add value to the translated content and the project as a whole. You can also ask for translated samples to judge their suitability to your requirement.

Vendor Ratings:

Check for the ratings given to vendors in different aspects, such as quality of deliverables, customer service, quality of native translators available in their database, process followed for translation.Typically, translated content is reviewed and in some cases, back-translation is done to ensure that there is no distortion of the original meaning in the translated content. For the purpose, vendors follow structured processes, where due diligence and quality aspects are taken care. Ensure that this process is followed, before you finalize the vendor.

Delivery Time and Cost:

When you are negotiating with the vendor, convey the project duration and funds you can allocate; ensure that he can deliver the project in time. Obtain quotes from two or three vendors to compare the services offered in terms of quality and price.

Ask for Samples and Testimonials:

Examine the samples prepared by the vendor previously to assess if the company is the right one to handle your requirement. Review the testimonials provided and also evaluate the clientele with whom they have worked previously.

Supportive Tools:

You may also want to evaluate how strong the vendor is in terms of supportive tools such as multi-lingual dictionaries and domain specific terminological dictionaries. Such dictionaries help translators to use the verbal nuances for better comprehension by target learners. Most companies these days use Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools, which ensure uniformity of the terms used. It also aids in faster and quicker translations and makes subsequent translations easier, due to inherent Translated memory tool. It reduces costs in long run, if you are adhering to a single vendor. Therefore, check with the vendor if they are proficient in using CAT tools.

Translation vendors need to have translators who have requisite domain expertise, to be able to translate your documents and courses. You need to study the vendor ratings, testimonials and work samples, before finalizing a vendor. Ensure that the translation company supports their translators with technological tools, so that you get a better quality output, with consistent translation of your terms. After all, irrespective of the language, you need to ensure that your brand name is handled as per your requirements. Do you agree?

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