What to Look for in a Translation Agency

Making the leap to having your documents translated to other languages can be exciting and maybe a little scary. You’ve created the perfect content for your business; how can you be sure that its finer points won’t get lost in translation? The only real way to be confident in your choice of a translation agency is by understanding what a truly great translation agency can offer. Other than simply converting your words to a different language, what else should you look for in a translation agency?

Do they practice typesetting?

The benchmark of a truly reputable translation company is their ability to successfully typeset. Typesetting is the process of converting the translated content to the format and layout used in the original document. Proper typesetting is critical for anyone who wants to maintain the look and feel of their materials across an array of languages. When typesetting is done incorrectly or not at all, the integrity of the document can be completely different from one language to another. This is largely due to the fact that a translated document is almost never the same length as the original which can greatly affect readability and text flow.

Do they proofread their translations?

When comparing translation companies, you may not think to consider if they proofread their work. After all, wouldn’t a translation company that is confident in what they produce get it done correctly the first time every time? The fact is, proofreading is an essential part of the translation process. This is because there are several steps to document translation that go far beyond simply converting text from one language to another. A great translation company will review their translated materials and utilize various industry tools to ensure that every piece of translation is executed accurately and consistently.

Are their employees bound to a confidentiality agreement?

Sometimes handing over your documents to a translation company can feel nerve-wracking. This feeling of nervousness can be especially heightened if your materials include sensitive or private information. Because you want your translation company to handle your documents with as much respect and care as you do yourself, it is important to know if its employees are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. You want to know that they are a company whose employees adhere to a strict code of ethics versus one with no privacy policy in place.

Are their translators experts in their subjects?

Because every translation project is unique in the subject matters it contains, it is imperative that your translation company employs translators with a wide-range of subject knowledge. Successful document translation goes far beyond having someone who is bilingual convert the words and phrases into a different language; it often requires years of experience in the topic at hand. Your materials deserve to be translated using the same level of expertise with which they were originally created.

Can they provide certified and notarized translations?

The test of a truly trustworthy translation agency is whether or not it can provide certified and notarized translations. These documents can include materials for school, immigration, or any other entity needing proof of authenticity. A company with the ability to provide such a highly technical service is one that has a solid reputation for accuracy and professionalism.