Choosing a translation service is not as simple as doing a search and choosing the first that pops up. Maybe you have been working with a service for years and things are not going as well as expected or you used to have an in-house translator, but expanding into new languages is not cost effective, maybe you are just getting into an area that requires translation, no matter what, you want the best. It can be hard to make the right choice for your company, organization, or personal translation jobs, but knowing what decisions you need to make and what to look for can be extremely helpful. The following will help you better understand what to ask, check for, and expect from your translation service.
CAT tools are tools used in translation that help to build a translation memory for a given client. A translation memory is a database in which the translation company keeps translated sentences within the source text saved. When you repeatedly use a translation company and the same phrase appears, it is already translated by the CAT tool. This can save time and money if the translation is priced by the word. Not all companies will use CAT tools. In fact, many Christian translators use and prefer full human translation so the essence of the phrase is correctly translated, not just the wording. In specific niche areas, like Christian translation, this is important because a similar phrase may have a totally different meaning that actually needs translating in a different way using different words.
Finding the Best Provider
When it comes down to finding a translation service provider or book translation services, one quick internet search will result in numerous services available seven days a week, 24 hours a day with over 500 languages available. This can be overwhelming to say the least. The list below will help you determine which service will work best to meet your needs.
New companies are wonderful, but look for translation services that have been in business for several years. Companies that have remained in business have likely done so because they are good at what they do, so they are safer options. When you first start looking, rule out businesses that have only been in operation for two or three years and then check the rest of the criteria for the others. Additionally, those companies that have been in business longer, likely provide more service options.
When researching translation services, make sure the translators are native speakers or in the least fluent in the language you wish to target. This is important for localization purposes as a native speaker will understand how wording affects meaning and comes across in the new language. A good translator will be able to alter wording without altering meaning. This is especially important for Christian translators or those in niche markets that have to handle heavy material in which specific meaning needs conveyed.
Translation companies often deal with multiple time zones as they work with translators around the world. However, it is also important that you can make contact 24/7 as well. This adds to both the flexibility of deliveries and jobs that arise at odd hours. The faster you can contact a service, the better.
All businesses and organizations have a budget for certain tasks. Make sure you know how a company prices. Some may price per job, such as book translation services, or by word. Some companies will charge more for languages that are not as well known simply due to availability of trained translators. Find out ahead of time and see if the company is willing to work with you for larger or more frequent jobs. Some may offer discounts for working with a single translator for multiple projects.
Translation can be completed by computer, humans, or a hybrid of both. Look for companies that use human translation so that not just the words, but the message is accurately translated into the target language. Also make sure that the type of document you need translated is something they can and are willing to work with. Books will naturally take longer and many companies also work with other materials such as audio and visual.
You worked hard on the document, book, or materials that are being translated. Make sure to find out how the company keeps your materials confidential throughout the process. This is important whether you are having a book translated to sale in the future or bank statements that contain very private, detailed information.
Just as any company you would hire for a job, check the reviews for a given company. While it would be rare for a company to have all positive reviews, it is important that the majority appear positive and real. If few reviews are available or mostly negative reviews are given then choose a different company.
Time for Translation
Your job is important to you, so make sure it can be done in a timely manner. Make sure the job can be completed accurately on your timeline and the price if it is a rush. This should be in contract form so you have proof of the date the text is to be completed.
Editing and Second Looks
One commonly overlooked area of translation is editing services. When choosing a company, ask if they have editing services as part of the base price. Even if you do not speak the target language, having someone that does review the material for accuracy is important.
Choosing a book translation service for the translation of books, audio, video, pamphlets or any material can seem intimidating, but it is possible to find solid companies. Follow the list above, ask questions, and stick to your budget. Then, sit back and watch as your information is translated so you can offer it in new markets.