Perhaps you have read about the benefits of multilingual SEO websites for your businesses. It could be that you have your eye on cracking an overseas market. Or maybe you just want some advice about how professional language services could work for you.
Well, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the translation industry is expected to grow by 42% between 2010 – 2020, meaning that more people than ever need a translator to help them grow their businesses.
But if you don’t know your CAT-tool from your Quality Assurance, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s up to translation companies, as experts in industry, to give a helping hand to those who are, well, not quite experts yet.
Whether you’re thinking about investing in translation and other professional language services for the first time or just want to know if you’re getting the most out of your current language service partner, let us guide you through the ultimate company checklist should you find yourself in need of a translator.
Here are the five key questions you need to ask yourself before clicking that ‘Get a Quote’ button.
1. Why do you need a translator?
If you are clear about your objectives from the outset, you can more easily recognise what kind of professional language services are right for you.
Remember that language services are an investment and can add real value to your business.
Think about your company’s 5 or 10-year plan and identify some key goals. Then ask yourself how language services could help you reach them more quickly and efficiently.
For example, do you want to drive international sales via your website? Could improving communication in meetings help you win key clients? Do the documents you circulate in your international company simply need to be understood, or do they inform important decisions?
2. What type of language service best suits your needs?
Once you have identified why you need a translator, it’s time to think about what type of language service would best suit your needs. Here is a quick summary of the key services you need to know:
- Document translation: communicating the meaning of a document from one language (the source) to another language (the target).
- Localisation: adapting a product to a specific country or region, taking into account the local culture and customs. This includes Website Localisation, Software Localisation, such as apps and user interfaces and Multimedia Localisation, such as voiceover, e-learning, subtitling and videos.
- Interpreting: this is about communicating the meaning of speech from the source language to the target language. It includes Simultaneous interpreting, meaning the interpreter relays the meaning in real time, and Consecutive interpreting, meaning that the interpreter listens to a section of speech then either summarises or relays verbatim.
- Transcreation: a creative rewriting process which involves taking a message in one language and recreating the text so that it has the same emotional impact and meaning in the new language and culture. It is different to translation in that it adjusts copy to the target audience and culture instead of sticking closely to the source text.
- Multilingual SEO: optimising content on a website in another language, making your business much easier for in-country search engines to find.
3. What language pair/s would you require?
Now it’s time to identify which languages you require. It seems simple, but if you are doing business in a specific country or region, it’s important to do research into what language is most suited to your needs rather than blindly assume that it will be that country’s official language.
For example, if you are having a meeting with a Barcelona-based business and you need a translator, you might want to consider asking for a Catalan-speaking interpreter rather than Castilian Spanish. Equally, you might end up red-faced if you go to the effort of translating documents into German for someone in Zurich and they are more comfortable reading in English. The key is to ask.
4. What is your budget?
It’s an all-too-familiar scenario: a company spends big bucks on a rebranding, for example, and hires the best website designers, copywriters and graphic designers around – but when it comes to translation, they’re suddenly looking to scrimp and save.
As the age-old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you wouldn’t be happy with a website homepage that is misspelt, grammatically incorrect and badly-written in English, why would you allow your brand to be presented as such in other languages?
But while investing in professional language services is important, it’s also true that everyone has a totally different budget to begin with. It’s therefore crucial that the translation company you choose makes the most of your every penny.
We’ve broke down in detail how Translation Pricing works here so you can get an idea of how your quote is calculated.
Wolfestone, for example, offers specific service levels, creating an easy-to-follow pricing structure that’s consistent, competitive and fair.
Check out our Five Key Service Levels here for a more detailed explanation of the services our clients can expect. This allows you to make an informed and independent decision over the translation process when you decide you need a translator.
5. Do you have a deadline?
Urgency is, without a doubt, a key factor of any business and last minute demands are bound to crop up, even in the most organised of projects.
At Wolfestone, we even have a dedicated urgent translation service that can get you a quote for your project within the hour.
In general, however, if you don’t have a hard deadline, allowing for a longer time-frame for a project will push down your costs and allow the linguists to spend longer on researching and proofreading, ensuring the translation quality is as high as possible.
Don’t forget to communicate as much information about your translation needs as possible to the company and your Project Manager – this will ensure you are both on the same page and the project can go as smoothly as possible.
Article written by Sofia Lewis, Wolfestone contributor