It’s safe to say that translation has become the magical portal for businesses, companies, and brands to expand and go overseas. This magical portal, however, might have some loopholes; because the road to buying translation services isn’t one that’s paved with roses. Buying translations can be frustrating. In fact, it nearly equates pretty much the same effort exerted on your project itself.
And, believe it or not, buying translation services is a doubled-edged weapon… It’s shocking, we know!
True, that buying translation services grants you access to countless benefits, including: impeccable quality, affordable costs, fast turnarounds, online tracking to view the progress of the project, outstanding project management…etc. On the other hand, making the wrong decision while buying translation services might incur unpleasant inconveniences, such as advance payment with no cash back policy, compromised deadlines, and serious of all no trusted quality- due to the lack of translation samples.
The good news is: the advantages of buying translation services outweigh the disadvantages, and with the right selection, you guarantee a professional translation service with zero disadvantages, and no regrets.
Following are few, yet hugely useful, tips or questions to ask yourself when buying translation services.
Deciding on the Type of Translation Is Half of the Battle
The world of translation is extremely diverse. So, the first thing you will need to determine is the type of translation your project requires. Knowing exactly the scope of work will shrink your list of possible options, because translation services can sometimes be specialized in a particular industry. Find a translation service that your translation project can be best assigned to in order to provide the quality you need.
Usually, translation services provide several types of translations. Below are few examples of these types:
- Software Translation: This one concerns any content related to the software and programming industry. It necessarily requires translation and localization processes simultaneously.
- Technical Translation: A specialized translation that deals with scientific and technical documents, like for example manuals, user guides, and training material. This type specifically includes an overwhelming use of terminology, which accordingly requires an in-depth expertise.
- Medical Translation: Between clinical trials, medical research documents, healthcare brochures and products, and others, medical translation is all about every medical content. It is a tricky type of translation that doesn’t tolerate any mistake.
- Multimedia Translation: In this translation, the document isn’t just about words; graphics, images, videos, and any other digital elements can be included within. It has a sophisticated nature, since graphic designers and Desktop Publishing (DTP) specialists cooperate with the linguistic team to create an identical-looking, culturally-adapted translated document.
- Website Translation: Today, this is one of the most commonly requested types of translation. E-commerce is offering endless opportunities for companies and brands, and websites seems to be the way to conquer the market. With such aim, great responsibility follows as these websites are translated and localized.
As mentioned, the world of translation is vast, and of course, there are other translation services types like Military Translation, Automotive Translation, Marketing and Advertising, Financial, and Legal Translation.
Each type has unique requirements, but if there’s anything common between these types, it would be the need for a native translator with a subject-matter expertise. It’s one of the natural laws that a translator with a solid background of the subject matter and knowledge of the terminology and terms associated is an asset and a cornerstone to the quality of the translation.
Quality and Deadline: How to Kill those Two Birds with One Stone?
Before we get to that question, you need to ask yourself: why should I compromise any of those two birds? Well, you shouldn’t. Quality and deadline are deal breakers.
Buying translation services, in its essence, is all about quality and deadline. Quality is always on the top of your checklist; this is where it should be. In case a translation provider has in-country native-speaking translators and reviewers who employ a strict quality assurance system and utilize translation tools, like Translation Memory (TM), you can rest assured high-quality is what you will get.
Let’s not forget that this kind of quality that you demand and which is necessarily required for your translation project can be obtained from the moment a translation glossary and style guide are created. This translation/terminology glossary is technically a master list of all approved translations for special terminology, common terms, and frequent word combinations related to the industry. Besides, a linguistic style guide includes the style manual and rules (punctuation, usage, spelling, and grammar) that are unique to your company/organization. Both are effective and high-value tools not only in ensuring high-quality translations but also ensuring consistency throughout your projects.
However, you can’t afford having a great translation that isn’t finished in time. As it is universally acknowledged, time is money; which is why meeting deadline is a factor of quality, significantly dictating your decision. Your decision of buying translation service comes down to how much you can rely on a translation provider to optimize the workflow of its teams and come up with a world-class quality, error-free, consistent, and original, in a timely manner. The one responsible for such work optimization is a project manager.
A true indicator of trust in a translation service provider is its project manager. A driven project manager who is a strategic communicator, seeking long-term partnership, is all what your project needs. From the moment a project is requested, a project manager ensures a smooth communication to carefully assess, study, and plan for the project while regarding each and every demand made by the client. He/she then harmonizes the workflow as his plan is being carried out by the many teams/individuals involved, while maintaining unwavering focus on quality and meeting deadline.
In a nutshell, a professional service provider with a diligent project manager is the one stone that can help you kill those two birds (quality and deadline).
Buying Translation Services: Quality Comes at a Cost
According to the American Translators Association: “When choosing a translation provider, calculate how much you’ve spent to develop the product or services you want to promote outside your country. If you cannot afford a professional translation, perhaps you are not ready for the international market yet.”
Of course, cost is one of the main concerns when it comes to any translation project, which is totally justified. Between translation services that request strikingly high rates to others pledging high quality for ridiculously low rates, it might be extremely confusing.
When buying translation services, you should bear in mind factors that impact the cost of translation services. This way, you are able to tell which has the most reasonable/affordable prices (in other words, within your budget).
- The Field
A key element that determines greatly the cost is the field requested. It’s a golden rule: the more technical a document is, the more it costs. Naturally, this is due to the amount of time and effort exerted while working on technical content. For example, translating a product brochure, in most cases, wouldn’t cost as much as a medical report.
- The Language Pair
Requesting a common language, such as English, as a target language shouldn’t incur huge translation cost. In contrast with that, rare languages would actually cost more. Let’s be honest, it makes sense. A professional language service provider hires native translators to guarantee accuracy and naturalness of the language, and it is relatively easier to get a “professional” English-native translator than to get a “professional” Fijian-native translator, who should be a tech-savvy as well.
Aside from the translation phase, formatting has a say in the total cost of your translation project. Formatting here includes both providing the unique characters and special fonts of a language, especially if it’s a rare one, and the whole layout of the document. This calls for desktop publishing process, involving specific high-tech equipment and graphic expertise, which adds up to the total cost of the translation process.
It is also worth mentioning that the language pair and formatting is your best compass while buying a translation service. It narrows down your search because some translation services are specialized in rare languages, while others don’t provide them. In addition to that, some don’t provide desktop publishing services and are unable to handle different language formats. In which case, you projects will be left with lots of formatting to do.
Should Culture Influence the whole decision-making?
This is one difference between machine translation and human translation, and a huge one also between so many translation services. You don’t want your translation project to sound like it has been translated by a robot, i.e. soulless. For instance, if your project is a marketing brochure for a product that you are willing to sell in a specific locale, word-to-word translation wouldn’t be sufficient, because it would lack the essential marketing flavor. The expressions and cultural references used in the source brochure wouldn’t be relevant to the culture of the target locale.
The cultural aspects don’t only concern language, but also concern signs and symbols, photos, graphics, and even colors. For instance, the V sign which stands for peace in countries, like Egypt, refers to rude behavior in a country like Australia. Blue color might be commonly associated with the birth of a boy, but in China, it is considered a feminine color. These cross cultural differences influence greatly a translation and accordingly your marketing message.
Therefore, on buying translation services, it is of paramount importance to discuss the cultural aspects of any translation project, so that a great amount of consideration is paid to the style of the language, the target audience, and cultural correctness of the text. With a proper translation, you are avoiding any awkwardness or any offense to your target audience (hopefully your future customers), and at the same time you are approaching them through content which is, linguistically and culturally, comprehensible and pleasing.
If a translation provider doesn’t tackle the cultural aspects of your project, that’s a sign to leave!
Who Is your Right Partner?
If you find a translation service with an experience to provide the kind of translation and language pair you request, while delegating a project manager to discuss the linguistic and cultural demands of your project, set the appropriate deadline, and offer affordable cost, then you have met the right partner and made the right decision of buying translation services and to your whole project.
We understand that buying translation services can be a killer concern. Many factors contribute to the whole decision-making, that’s why we have tried to provide a checklist to help you make the right decision.
BayanTech brings you the successful formula of offering you different types of translation services (Software Translation, Military Translation, Marketing Translation, and many more) in a diversity of language pairs, including extremely rare languages. Our project managers are committed to planning your translation projects and leading our translation, proofreading, and graphic designing teams, seeking high-quality outcomes in fast turnarounds and at affordable rates.
With bayanTech, you don’t need much time to take the decision. Find more about us and get in touch!