You've probably heard the old adage, “time is money.” In this case, words are money. When words are translated incorrectly, it can cost you millions in lost revenue and negative brand exposure. Money is not the only thing you could lose; medical translation errors could impact the health and wellbeing of others. Imagine the legal repercussions of a prescription drug where the ingredients or dosage instructions were incorrectly translated. Luckly, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best service in the world of translation.
Seven mistakes to avoid when hiring a translation service.
Hiring an unqualified TEAM.
Do your due diligence! Thorough research of the translation agency and their translators is critical if you hope to get accurate translations. Check references by contacting their clients.
Ask the agency to provide the credentials of the translator. Are they certified? What was the certification process? You can even ask for samples of their work. Also, make sure the translator or translation team has some cultural knowledge of the language to be translated.
Blindly accepting a translation.
If a translation agency does not have a quality assurance process in place, this should be an immediate red flag. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure they have a QA process with multiple stages in order to catch errors. There should be at least one other qualified translator to proofread and edit translations.
Hiring translators with little to no knowledge of the topic.
Whether it’s marketing, medical, legal, manufacturing, or some other industry, it’s crucial that the translators you work with have experience and knowledge of the subject matter. If they don’t, you’ll need to supply educational materials and provide sufficient time to review and familiarize themselves with the topic prior to the delivery deadline.
They may get the words right, but if they do not understand the context, then the translation may convey the wrong meaning.
Choosing the cheapest service.
It’s a common pitfall, thinking that all translation services are equal. But if you do a little research and find that the most trustworthy translator or agency costs a bit more, it would be well worth stretching the budget. You may be saving thousands of dollars that result from translation errors (and countless headaches along the way).
A simple Google search will reveal the horror stories of all the translation errors that cost businesses money and their reputation, but also led to physical damage to victims of medical translation errors.
Failing to discuss the parameters of the contract.
Failing to discuss in detail all of the parameters of the contract as far as timeframe and charges for services can lead to inaccurate quotes, as well as an extended timeline. Be sure to get a detailed list of services and their rates. Set a maximum price and timeframe. It is important to communicate all the services you need to the agency, which leads us to mistake #6.
Failure to provide a clear outline of the services needed for the assignment.
Is it just text or will the job involve more, such as multiple languages, video transcription, images with embedded text, or tables and charts? It is vital that you tell the agency precisely what you need in order to avoid unexpected charges.
Hiring a company with no customer service.
What if you encounter a problem? Is there a system in place to handle complaints? You will want the process to run smoothly and any issues to be addressed in a timely and fair manner. A good translation agency will have a customer service procedure should something go wrong.
Costly translation errors that lead to devastating consequences can be avoided by working with an established and certified organization like LinguaLinx. Our customers get the highest quality translation services on time, on budget, and customer service and accuracy that are of the highest industry standards.
Our certified, multilingual translators are native-speaking, subject-matter experts. They will quickly and effectively communicate not just the meaning of your source-language content, but also the intent behind your message.