At LinguaLinx, we know getting this decision right is crucial to a seamless integration into Portuguese-speaking communities. But where do you start?
We’ve been there with a number of our clients who have faced this uphill battle. So, to put some power in your hands and kick start the process, let’s look at the top questions we recommend you ask a potential LSP who’s going to help you on your journey into Portuguese-speaking territory.
8 Questions to Ask an LSP When Choosing Portuguese Translation Services
1. Do They Work with Your Specific Type of Portuguese?
Within each of these varieties is a multitude of different sub-versions and dialects. For example, suppose you’re translating content for the African market of Maputo, Mozambique. In that case, you’d want a linguist skilled in Mozambican Portuguese, which is a derivative of the European version.
Your chosen LSP should have experience in localizing your material into specific markets, regions, and cultures.
2. Do They Have Experience in Your Industry?
Different industries have different terminology, acronyms, and ways of using language. It’s not one size fits all, as you’ll know if you stop to consider your own industry for a moment.
Think of how much less explanation needs to be given to a colleague than a friend who doesn’t work in your field.
Your translation partner should have experience in your industry so that they can accurately convey nuances and the meaning of sentences and paragraphs from one language to another.
After all, if you’re referring to a PM, is that project manager, product manager, or preventative measure?
3. What Industry Qualifications Do They Have?
The language and translation services industry, like all industries, is regulated by independent bodies to make sure that LSPs comply with good practices.
In the language services industry, the standard that you’re looking for is ISO 17100. So, even if you know nothing about translation, you’ll know that people who do have approved your LSP partner as a company that’s committed to following good practice.
4. Is Their Process Clear, and Does it Fit Yours?
Now that they’ve ticked the ISO 17100 box, you know they have a process that works for them to deliver accurate translations time after time. They should be open and willing to share this process with you. Even though it gets results, it still needs to be right for you and your organization.
Is it going to be labor-intensive for your team? Will it require additional resources or effort to get the content ready? Does their process have the flexibility to be adapted to fit the way you work without compromising on quality? Are you happy with the line and frequency of communication? Making sure the process works for everyone, and is agreed upon, before the translation starts will give you a strong foundation for success.
5. Can They Easily Respond to Time and Volume Fluctuation?
Business requirements are constantly changing. Sometimes you can see things on the horizon and plan for them; other times you’re standing on the horizon when you see things. How adaptable is the LSP? Can they scale up quickly with Portuguese translators with experience in your industry if you need to capitalize on an opportunity? Can they support you, as best as can be expected, with shifting deadlines?
You only want to go through the process of hiring an LSP once. It’s a big decision, so if you’re set to expand into different territories or have different translation requirements in the future, then choose an LSP that has the linguistic roster to help you with that.
The best chance you have for your message to be consistent across all regions is to have one linguistic partner roll it out with you.
Translation is more than just the conversion of words between languages. A good LSP will want to know what context the text will be read in. Is it going to be online, in print, or both? Does it sit by itself or with other imagery or graphic design elements?
Getting text from translation to where it will be consumed requires a graphic designer to use desktop publishing (DTP) to make the layout work.
Portuguese, like many of the romantic languages, can be up to 30% longer than English. You can imagine what this does to the layout of a website or brochure.
8. Can You Look at Their Past Work?
You should be able to look at previous work they’ve done for clients with similar needs to yours.
This means in your industry, in Portuguese, with similar DTP requirements and the same type of timescales and volume.
Can you contact their client about what it was like to work with the LSP?
By vetting your potential LSP partner with the questions listed above, which will be the basis for your due diligence, you’ll find one that matches your language, industry, content and working practice needs.
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