You need to train your multilingual workforce spread across the globe effectively. It’s indeed a big challenge, because you don’t know the native languages of all your employees. Yes, you are smart and thought of e-learning translation companies. But, as you start researching, you come across a number of translation agencies on the web. How will you find the right e-learning translation partner, who can meet your custom training requirements from those thousands of companies?
Here are seven important steps that will help training managers find the right translation company for their online training requirements.
1. Look for experience in e-learning translation
E-learning translation is drastically different from linguistic translation. The vendor just translates the study material or manuals in linguistic translation. But in e-learning translation, the partner needs to translate onscreen as well as off-screen content such as the audio narration when needed. So you need to check for the e-learning translation experience of the prospective vendor. Your prospective translation partner should have considerable experience in e-learning translation apart from e-learning development.
It’s not just confined to that, but the translated content and audio or video elements have to be integrated into a functional e-learning course in the respective languages. So the translation vendor must have technical and linguistic expertise to his credit.
2. Check the number of languages the vendor can handle
Some translation companies and small vendors focus on one or two specific sets of languages such as English to French, English to German, or vice versa. Their target is only specific countries or regions. For example, a company can stick to Brazilian Portuguese. If you have a translation requirement in 30 languages, you can’t search for 30 different vendors for each language. Check for a translation vendor who can deal with all 30 languages. This will save much of your coordinating efforts and precious time.
3. Ensure the translators’ domain expertise
You need to ask the prospective translation vendor for the subject knowledge of their translators. You can’t assign technical subjects to linguistic translators. For example, if your product knowledge training needs to be translated into Mandarin or Cantonese, your translator must a have sales or marketing background. When you give compliance training for translation, the translator must be a law graduate familiar with the subject.
This principle applies to audio narrators too. Though people are proficient in their language, they may not be able to pronounce some industry-specific terms clearly. You just can’t assign corporate training translations to someone who is bilingual. So ask for the subject matter expertise of the translators and audio narrators they have before selecting the translation partner.
As a translation buyer, of course, you must be aware of how translation companies select their translators and about the development and monitoring process.
4. Enquire existing and past clients
Translation companies who are confident about their quality of work will provide clients’ details to their enquirers. Checking with the vendor’s current clients will reveal the project completion details. Recommendations and reviews matter most in handpicking good companies that work genuinely from among the many translation companies sprouting everywhere.
5. Avoid last minute billing surprises
You can always ask the prospective translation vendor what is included in the cost and what is not. Will reviews and revisions cost more? It’s better to know the prospective translation vendor’s billing process to avoid last minute surprises. Ask whether the price quotation includes taxes to have a clear budget estimate. Make sure there are no hidden costs or strings attached.
6. See the track record of meeting timelines
You need to know whether the prospective translation vendor meets the set timelines, as you need to train employees at various locations without crossing your deadlines. You have to make it clear about the strict deadlines at the beginning so that the translation vendor completes his work and provides enough time for reviews and revisions. Preparing a detailed scheduling of the translation project and fixing timelines in discussions with you shows the translation vendor’s commitment.
7. Expect exceptional customer service
How your translation vendor responds to difficult or unexpected situations during the translation process will reveal the vendor’s customer service.
For example, you received a training content for translation from your Subject Matter Expert in the last minute on Friday. And it’s urgent; the translated content should be included in the course by Monday and assigned to your employees. If your prospective vendor is committed, he won’t say NO to unexpected emergencies like this.
The right translation vendor builds a harmonious relationship with its clients and their training managers. You can also discuss post project assistance in the beginning; this will give you clarity on the vendor’s stand on customer service. The response of the vendor for revisions once the translation project is complete also reveals his customer service.
Hope the discussed steps will simplify your process of selecting the right e-learning translation partner. All the best for your future translation projects!
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