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Translating content from one language to another is not always a straightforward process, yet mistakes and misunderstandings are not an option for your business. You need quality — authentically translated content that precisely communicates your desired message and does not offend your target audience.
To achieve this goal, you need a translation partner, an agency with the tools, experience, and dedication to help you reach and engage new audiences. In this article, we’ll explore the top seven features and characteristics to look for on your research journey for a global translation agency. Let’s get started.
1. Translation is their core service
Translation and localization are rigorous processes that require exceptional attention to detail and niche experience. Companies that offer several services, translation being one — albeit small — aspect of their business, may not have the experience, resources, and commitment needed to achieve high-quality, accurate results.
In addition, these businesses often outsource many or all the steps in the translation process. This adds time and cost to the service while reducing quality and minimizing accountability.
Also, make sure the agency offers localization services. Messaging can get lost in translation, and that’s why localization is critical to the success of your content. Where translation focuses solely on language, localization adapts content to meet the cultural expectations and societal norms of your audience. It touches everything from idioms (think, break a leg, for example) and currencies to graphics and units of measurement. Even colors can signify different things depending on the cultural context, so they may need to be altered.
An agency familiar with the localization process will ensure your content communicates your intended message clearly, accurately, and without offending your overseas audience.
2. They have industry specialization
You know your business better than anyone, and the way you communicate with employees, partners, customers, and other audiences is specific to your field. For this reason, you may want to work with an agency with specialized expertise and experience in your industry.
To find out, you may want to read through testimonials and references. Agencies that deliver exceptional work will have delighted clients who are more than happy to share their experience and feedback with others.
3. They have a trusted network of translators and editors in the countries you are targeting
Language is nuanced and ever-evolving, so when searching for a translation partner, make sure their team and broader network speak, understand, and have experience with your required languages. In addition to ensuring error-free text, this will produce content that reads or sounds natural and authentic, allowing your business to form genuine and meaningful connections with your new audience.
4. They uphold robust quality assurance processes
Typos, grammar errors, and other mistakes do more than confuse your messaging. They detract from your brand’s professionalism, which can spell disaster. When vetting potential translation companies, compare their quality assurance (QA) processes.
Some may use humans alone, but all humans are prone to error. Some may leverage technology instead. However, AI-based translation software doesn’t always pick up on the nuances of language. That’s why at Commit Global, we use a combination of world-leading translation and localization QA tools to reduce human error and preserve our client’s intended meaning.
5. They hold relevant certifications
Quality is paramount when translating content for your business, and that’s why keeping an eye out for relevant certifications and accreditations is key.
Here are some certifications for professional translation services you should look for: ISO 9001, ISO 17100, and ISO 13485 (for medical device translations). It’s not enough for a company to claim they adhere to the regulations outlined in these standards, so be wary of agencies who are self-certified. Ideally, look for a global translation agency that is officially accredited and independently audited. If this information is not readily available on their website, you can reach out and ask.
For your peace of mind, Commit Global strictly follows the standards set out by ISO 9001, ISO 17100, and ISO 13485.
6. They offer gold-standard customer service
Whether you need translation and localization services once or are looking to form a long-term partnership with a global translation agency, customer service is critical. You should be kept in the loop throughout the process and have round-the-clock access to customer care representatives who can provide updates and answer your questions. The agency should follow through on its promises, complete your content by the agreed-upon deadline, and uphold values of respect and integrity every step of the way.
7. They take data security seriously
Data is one of your company’s most valuable assets, and protecting that data is critical to your long-term success, customer loyalty, and reputation. Your translation materials should be stored securely on the cloud to ensure that sensitive, personally identifying, and confidential information is protected against risk and kept out of the hands of cybercriminals. That is why you should look for companies that hold a certification for ISO 27001, the international best practice standard for information and data security.
Ready to start your translation journey?
Choosing the right global translation agency requires a bit of research. You need assurance that the finished product will be delivered on time, communicate your intended message, and resonate with your target audience. Using the list above, you can vet potential agencies until you find the business that aligns with your wants, needs, and goals.
If you are ready to kick-start your translation journey with an agency that ticks all the boxes, learn more about us and our certifications. We’d be happy to discuss your needs and the next steps, so please get in touch. Our team has the tools, experience, and expertise to transform your global ambitions into realities.