The time has come when you need your website translated from its native English into another language. It sounds relatively uncomplicated - partner with someone, and then they’ll do all the work - and then it hits you: who’re you going to trust? This is not only a big job but an incredibly important one.
At LinguaLinx, we’d definitely suggest partnering with a Language Service Provider (LSP) as opposed to an individual translator. There’s nothing wrong with translators for specific projects, but by partnering with an LSP you’ll get the same high-quality translation, and you’ll start viewing things with an inclusive growth mindset.
What does that mean? And, ok, full disclosure, we’re an LSP. But we’re not saying partner with us necessarily, we’re just saying go the LSP route. The inclusive growth mindset stems from the fact that an LSP can deal with all your translation needs in as many languages as you want, unlike a translator who, typically, only specializes in translating into one language pair.
An LSP will get to know your business intimately. This way, you’re not explaining your customers’ and your business’s needs to every translator that comes on board (and each of them may be translating your business in their own way). This will save you a lot of time on admin and project management.
In this article, we’ll look at the top qualities you should be looking for in making the decision on which LSP to partner with.
What to Look for in a Website Translation Service Provider
Do They Have Qualifications?
Because you can’t check their work (after all, it’s in a foreign language), you have to know they have processes and qualifications to make sure they get it right.
Believe us when we say that, regardless of the language, you will know when it goes wrong when angry customers, or potential customers, get in touch with you to complain because your website messaging was off.
This is fast-tracking your brand into an early grave in that new market.
What Qualifications Should You Look for?
Yes, not all qualifications carry equal value. If the potential LSP is the top translation company in the northeast side of their city, is that really good enough?
What you should be looking for is an ISO-17100 qualification. This is the top international translation services qualification, and it’s pretty much watertight.
It means experienced external professionals audit the company on an annual basis to make sure they’re following their procedures to the letter.
Will They Use Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)?
You want the LSP to have a pool of experienced, qualified translators who also have experience in your industry.
It’s vital that the people working on your translation understand the nuances, language, and jargon of your industry.
Otherwise, your translation stands the risk of being technically right, but not authentic.
What is Their Quality Assurance (QA) Process?
This should be at the top of their list to talk to you about. They should have a process where they use separate translators to double-check each other’s work.
The QA process goes back to ISO-17100, it goes back to using SMEs, and it goes back to using a trusted LSP who has been around the block a few times not only in the world of translation but also in translating websites.
This nicely brings us to…
Do They Have Digital Experience?
The workflow for a website involves a different technical team, partners (digital companies), and processes from translating a legal document or a marketing campaign.
Your LSP should have experience in translating for digital platforms and be able to guide you through this specific process with their team.
When Are They Available, and in What Languages?
The answer needs to be 24/7 in any language.
There’s a good chance that this translation means you now have an international offering and you need your LSP to be able to respond to requests from any timezone in any language.
Do You Work Well Together?
Do your brands, working practices, company values, and people gel? Are they going to be easy to work with?
From working procedures, to project management, to daily communication, is this LSP, regardless of how good they may be at translation, going to contribute to creating a frictionless process?
Working with an LSP should be an easy, long-term process. They should have their own working methods, but be able to adapt to yours too. You’re the client, after all.
Are They Experienced in Localization?
Localization is different from translation. Localization is about being able to adapt to new markets - which doesn’t always mean a country, it could be just a city, a community, or even a religion in that country.
To localize successfully, you have to communicate your company or product specifically to that market.
There was a case where a major baby food provider was going into a market where a high percentage of the population was illiterate. Brands entering this market realized they needed to change their packaging because the population was used to putting pictures of the product on their packaging. A tin of tuna had tuna fish on it, a tin of peas had a picture of peas…you get the idea.
So the translation company, not experienced in localization, translated all the text perfectly on the baby food packaging, but they left a picture of a baby on it.
Sales suffered as you can imagine what the consumers thought was in that tin. That’s localization, that’s understanding your audience and not just translating.
Get A Quote for Your Website Translation Project
As you can tell, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best language service provider to help translate your website. By now, you should have a much better idea of how to choose the best language service provider to help you with your translation needs.
If you’re thinking of translating your website, we’d love to chat with you about your translation needs.
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
- How Much Does it Cost to Translate a Website?
- Qualifications of a Website Translation Service Provider
- Why Hire a Language Service Provider for Website Translation