9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Translation Company

Does your company need professional translation services?

Being able to communicate to your customers in their native language is a game-changer, and will benefit your company. That’s why it makes sense to hire a translation company. But how do I know if the translation company I’m hiring will do a good job?

When it comes to hiring a translation company, there are several things you need to bring up. In this article, we’ll explain different scenarios that need translation services, and the top questions to ask before hiring a translation company.

Who Needs To Hire a Translation Company?

Translation companies can translate between any two common languages. They can translate more than one language in a document, too. For example, many companies can do translation from English to Spanish. Some companies can do translation from English into French. The combinations are endless.

Translation companies have large translation memories that allow for the quick translation of regularly needed documents, or for immigration purposes. Here are some of the most commonly translated documents:

  • Instructions
  • Manuals
  • Books
  • Correspondence 
  • Assignments (personal, academic) 
  • Presentations/PowerPoints 

If you have a document that you need translation for regularly, it might be time to hire a translation company. Translation companies are usually the best ones to translate your words.

Here are nine necessary questions to ask before signing that contract and handing over the translation work:

1. Can I Provide You With All The Source Material at Once?

When the translation company receives all the files at once, it makes things a lot more efficient. Even if the translator has to do the work in batches, it is faster than waiting for everything from the client to arrive.

Translation professionals understand many languages. They can be working on translation projects in more than one language at a time. Having access to the data beforehand means they can start right away – without waiting to receive all the files. 

This question is often missed but asking it will be one of the most useful tips when hiring a translation company.

2. Can I Contact Your Professional Translation Team Directly?

Translation companies usually have a project manager for translation projects. But, they know clients need to talk directly with the people who are working on the translation. That way, the client can ask questions about translation-related concerns and be sure that everything is going well with translation.

In some cases, especially when several translators will be necessary, this can even produce a better translation result. 

Translation companies that allow you to talk directly to the people who are doing your translation are usually good choices.

3. Will You Provide Me With Examples of Your Work?

Because language is not mathematics, there are no fixed rules to apply every time you receive instructions on how a translation job should turn out. 

Instead, good translators need to know certain things about technical and linguistic knowledge. Providing quality translation requires us to have valuable translation experience; translation samples will help you decide whether we’re what your translation project needs or not.

4. Am I Allowed to Check Translation Memory?

Translation Memory is a way to save words and phrases that you have translated in the past. This will help you remember how to translate words you have translated before. Translation Memory saves time and money by providing translation options that you can reuse for translation in the future. 

Translation memories can show people if we have done a good job before and will do the right work for them now. That way, they can verify whether our work remains true to their original text or not.

5. What Is Your Working Method?

Different translation companies work in different ways: some have professional teams of translators who create translation memories for each language pair that they’re active in; others work with translation agencies that specialize in specific translation niches and languages. 

Translation companies that do not use translation memories are cheaper, but it might also mean the quality of the translation is bad. But, translation companies that use translation memories can produce better translation results at a higher price for the translation. This method will also allow us to give you an accurate estimate of how many hours your project will take.

6. How Do You Keep My Data Safe?

As soon as professional translators start working on your project, they gain access to sensitive information meant only for you – like texts or documents sent by another client. 

The good news is that professional translation agencies handle translation jobs in a way that keeps your data safe. Professionals create translation memory exclusively for use as your translation project’s reference. The translator or translation agency never shares it or sells it to anyone else.

7. Can I See Samples of How You Worked on a Similar Translation Project?

The best way to know if we’re going to be the right fit for translation work is by checking out professional translation samples produced by our team members. Translation companies that let you see samples from their translators show they are confident about the quality of translation services.

If possible, have a look at several examples from every translation task done before – so you can compare each style and quality accordingly and find out whether they suit your needs or not.

For translation companies that do not want to give out translation samples, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

8. What Service Do You Provide After Delivery?

Translation companies usually offer translation services only, but if you’re looking to expand your business or just want to take translation work into your own hands, you might want the translation agency to support you. 

If that’s the case, make sure that they offer certain translation post-processing services such as editing and revision or translation memory updating and management.

9. Can I Have a Written Translation Estimate?

Translation companies usually tell you how much the service will cost. It’s based on how much it costs to translate something right now. In some cases, it is not possible to calculate the price before translation starts because there is too much uncertainty.

In those situations, many translation companies will offer customers good faith estimates of how much translation will cost, paid in installments. Translation prices might vary. You should always ask for a written estimate before you agree to any terms and conditions.

Hire Professional Translators Today

Now you know what to ask if you need translation services. And when you’re ready, we can help. 

Global Bridge is a professional translation company that offers translation services at reasonable rates, across many industries. 

Contact us to get started today.

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