We continue to work within safety guidelines at full operational capacity during the Covid Crisis in order to support our clients

Search Icon

Blog

Our latest news & views

4 Tips to Get the Most Out of your Translation Agency

By Josian Phillips, 

As is the case with any service provider, you need to vet a business before using them. Quality service isn’t always a guarantee, and even if the service they provide is of a high standard, that doesn’t mean working with them will be straightforward.

It’s no different for the translation services industry. If you’ve previously enlisted a translation agency, then you will know that it can be challenging to pick a translation agency that does excellent work and meets your requirements, on time and with a particular focus.

Translating can be extremely complex, and there are certain things you can do from your side to make it simpler, ways you can approach a translation agency to ensure working with one goes as seamlessly as possible.

To assist you, we have put together four tips to get the most out of your translation agency.

1. Know what you want & communicate it clearly

Being a translation agency, we are confident in saying that if you know what you want from the beginning, and communicate it clearly, the results will be excellent.

So, what exactly do you need to do to ensure that what you want is communicated effectively? The first thing you need to send a translation agency is the source document.

It’s imperative, that before you send it across, you have proofread the document. There should be no errors in the original material. Once you have had a read through, think about if there will be any issues with formatting or localisation. Is everything clear in the source document? Is all the text legible? Once you are confident that the material is error-free, you need to consider the following:

Do you have particular instructions on style or tone?

If you have preferences when it comes to tone, you need to outline this clearly and make sure the translation agency understands this from the get-go. Should the translation have an informal or formal tone? Should it come across friendly, direct, optimistic or a combination of these?

You may need to clarify specific points during the translation process:

As your translator tackles the task, queries may come up, and you may need to define particular points to make sure your translation perfectly reflects the source text. Being available to answer these queries and communicating is crucial for a seamless relationship with your translation agency.

Working closely and being transparent with your chosen translation agency is the best way to form a productive relationship with them.

2. Vet the translation agency before working with them

Before choosing a translation agency, you will need to vet them first. To ensure the quality of work they deliver is of a high standard, you need to ask them what their process is. Whether you find this out through speaking with them directly, or by speaking with a company that has used them before, it’s crucial to know what quality control measures they implement.

Ask them the following questions:

  • Do they have editors proofreading the work of their translators?
  • What is the exact process?
  • What level of experience do the translators have?
  • Are their translator’s natives to the country you’ve chosen to target?
  • Do they understand your chosen target market from a cultural perspective?

Before choosing a translation agency, you need to ensure they have expertise across a wide range of industries.  Part of vetting a translation agency is dependent on your needs, of course.

For instance, not all translation agencies can expertly translate complex legal documents or provide expert healthcare translation services for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. You need to find an agency that has translators which have in-depth knowledge and experience in your industry.

3. If you can, provide your translation agency with reference material

The source material is one thing, but if you provide your translator with reference material, it will make things a lot simpler and help the translation process move a lot faster.

If you’ve had something translated before in a style you were happy with, or if you’ve seen translations in the market that you think might be in line with your requirements, it will give your translation agency a starting point for working on new material. Reference material can be in the form of PDFs, tone of voice, specific terminology or glossaries.

If not, be sure to choose a translation agency that can create a tone and image for you – a translation agency that is experienced in building and delivering marketing campaigns as well as translation.

4. Provide your translation agency with honest feedback

As outlined in our first tip, it’s important to remember that the relationship with your translation agency is built on clear communication. An excellent translation agency will expect detailed feedback on the project, whether positive or negative, to ensure they deliver work that you are satisfied with. Feedback is crucial for improvement and refinement.

If they have not met your expectations, they will want to know why and should ask for specific examples so they can avoid the same situation in future and provide you with an end product that you are pleased with going forward.

Use these four tips to guarantee a fluid process with high-quality results.

If you have a translation project in mind, get in touch with us at Brightlines – we bring an all-in-one translation service for virtually any industry.

Follow us for the latest
translation news and opinions