It’s happened! You’re in the exciting position of expanding your business into new territories. Whether this is physically going into new countries, or digitally targeting a new audience, it’s an exciting time that needs to be handled properly.
But before you can begin planning international launch-day celebrations, you need to get the logistics sorted first. And that’s translation and potentially localization.
It’s a mighty job that goes way beyond Google Translate. While an individual translator can be a good option for specific projects, you probably want to partner with a Language Service Provider (LSP).
But the problem is: with over 18,500 Language Service Providers out there, it can be difficult to find the right partnership for your business.
We’re not saying partner with us (although we’d love it if you did), but we do want to teach you a few key considerations when choosing the right LSP. After all, it’s an important partnership that will help you grow into the future.
Here at LinguaLinx, we’re the trusted go-to partner for some of the world’s leading companies, institutions, and governments. Like any good LSP, we consider context beyond the words, like cultural expectations and language subtleties, so it’s fair to say we know a thing or two about what your partnership with an LSP should look like.
We also understand that starting this process can feel daunting. Where do you even begin? So we thought we’d open the door and share some of our experience and knowledge on how to choose the right LSP for your project.
In this article, we’ll review the must-ask questions for potential LSPs so you can feel armed and confident about choosing a great language partner.
6 Questions to Ask a Language Service Provider
1. What Languages Will You Need To Translate To?
This is perhaps the most important question as it’ll determine the basics of what you need from your LSP.
Many LSPs cover the majority of global markets. For example, we translate over 98% of the world’s languages, which means we’re a single point of contact for any translation or localization needs.
Your starting point should always be looking at what specific target languages, or specific markets, you need to connect with.
Really the answer to this question all comes down to your business needs and ambitions.
2. What Content Do You Need to Have Translated?
Blogs, product descriptions, legal terms of service… It’s all content, but it’s all very different content and needs to be handled accordingly.
From specialist legal translators who’ll look at the terms and conditions of contracts to transcreators who can help with creative copy, different skills and expertise are going to be required.
Partnering with an LSP who does it all under one roof can make the whole journey simpler and more cost-effective.
3. How Much Content Will There Be?
For ongoing projects, setting expectations early on is the key to a happy, long-lasting relationship with your LSP.
When they know the volume of content to expect on a weekly or monthly basis (depending on your content creation schedule), you’re in a better position to make sure the same translators are working on your project.
Consistency is key, and it’s best to have a few people who live and breathe your brand (and its content) on the job.
Similarly, chat through necessary details like turnaround times and the number of amends agreed. The tighter the processes, the better the output.
4. What’s The Quality Assurance (QA) Process?
You’ve set certain standards in your business and any LSP that comes on board should live up to that quality.
In the industry LSPs operate in, QA is vital and all LSPs will have an in-depth process to make sure your content is independently double-checked before going live.
Ask a potential LSP how their translators are trained and how they measure translation quality.
You should also be looking for an LSP with an ISO-17100 qualification as this is the top international translation services qualification.
5. What Is Their Expertise?
For ongoing work, you want to be sure your content is in safe hands with people who know your business - and industry - inside and out. Like they’re an extension of your team.
Lots of LSPs can help with simple, straightforward translation, but when it comes to industry-specific details you’re going to want someone who ‘gets it,’ so they can provide context and more specific information.
6. What Software Do You (And They) Use?
We know, this seems like something you wouldn’t have to check, but if you’re using software and digital tools of the future, but your LSP is working exclusively with .doc and .xls files, it could prove to be a frustrating working relationship.
It’s a good idea to ask how your potential LSP will make sure your files stay intact and that nothing goes technically wrong during the localization process.
As well as file formats, share your formatting preferences too. This will save you and your team lots of unnecessary shuffling about with layouts, fonts, and styles.
Get A Quote For Your Website Translation Project
As you can tell, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing the best language service provider.
If you’re in the market for a new language services partner, we’d love to sit down and talk with you.
Consultations are free, and there’s no obligation.
With LinguaLinx, you won't ever have to worry about your message getting lost as it’s translated into multiple languages across your website.
You know you're in good hands with our ISO-17100 compliance, twenty years of professional translation experience, and the organizations whose trust we've earned.
Continue Learning With These Helpful Articles
- Qualifications of a Website Translation Service Provider
- How Much Do Language Service Providers Cost?
- Does Your Website Need to be Localized?