Well, for starters that is a highly subjective question? For example, if you are looking to translate a book, you might be okay with a not-so-tech-savvy translation service provider, Book translators are literature lords and they’d prefer books over keyboards mostly. But if you need to translate a high volume of web pages, real fast, your service provider needs to be loaded with machine guns – umm sorry, machine translation guns.
So let’s, put out a few points for you to keep in mind.
- Client communication must be cordial and seamless – you do not want to ask them three times a day for your work update. A good way to assess this is to just mentally calibrate the level of responsibility that your service provider has. This is easy to find out.
Ask yourself these questions. How often does the service provider follow up with me? Does he call me as soon as I ask him to? How fluently does he elucidate the work that he does? Does he check back often with me? Is he open to me asking questions? How does he entertain my doubts? And most importantly, how patient does he seem? When you have made a mental calculation of all these parameters, it shall be easy for you to understand if your language service provider is feigning responsibility for taking up your project or is he really eligible to be trusted with your work.
- Do not choose old agencies – that’s a bad analogy that the older, the better. Instead, choose experienced agencies. A startup that handles 300 projects a month is better than an oldie that gets 100 requests monthly. Experience equals the number and quality of projects.
Besides, startups are full of young talents who have the most refreshing of ideas – they can bring in more creativity and innovation under an experienced head. Older agencies know the ins and outs of the trade. Still, there is a mounting sense of bore that is not uncommon among the founders.
After all, they have been doing this since years. Not generalizing between startups and old agencies however, we would ask you to just stick to one prime rule. As soon as you contact them or get contacted by them – make one small request. I need a document that shows the companies you have helped with proof and samples. Then you can do the research yourself or get help from someone in your business.
- Price points are super crucial – get a friend who knows about translation price points before selecting a translation service provider. Some are good with work and high on prices while others promise low prices but work suffers. It is a good idea to talk to someone who has availed some translation service before.
- Now where to look for reliable people who know the maps of lsps? First, go to LinkedIn. Look for people who are running websites that need translation or localization. You might need to research before on the web to find out such companies who use extensive localization services. Once done, email their CEO. You can find their mail on hunter.io or you can just search them up on LinkedIn and send a video introduction. Repeat the same at least 10 times and you will have a big data set comprising of reliable service providers.
All you need to do now is contact these businesses – do not strike out anyone until you have talked to them. There are several other platforms where you can find people who can help you with your interests – these include Facebook translation groups, twitter threads, telegram groups and whats-app groups. Exploring these grounds will require the help of a digital marketer or social media manager. So, you can hire one.
Finally, simplifying the above things, here are three things summarized for you – reasonable price, experience with lots of projects and good communications with you. If you have observed projects being done before, then it’s easy for you to check up on the accuracy part. Or maybe you can hire an external evaluator. If you are searching for a specialized translator, the process is similar to this – just ask the translation service provider to send you a sample example of specialized translation before they sign you up. It might also be a good idea dial up the client who has been serviced by the agency before to find out if they really liked the services.
Sometimes, you might want to ask this question – So, how good are your translators? Can I talk to them? The idea is to know the mettle of their employees.
Overall, keep your intuition on high alert and it will guide you to the perfect language service provider.