If you’re new to the translation industry, it’s likely that you have questions about translation, translation processes, and everything in-between. That’s great! You should be asking these questions before you decide on an appropriate Language Service Provider (LSP) for your translation projects. Every LSP has different methods of translator recruitment, different translation processes, etc. If you want to find the right LSP for you and your organization, ask these questions and see how well their answers match what you’re looking for.

Questions about translation services

What range of language services do you offer?

LSPs provide language services from translation to localization, interpreting to ADA compliance. Ask your potential LSP what services they offer so you can be sure they’ll be prepared to meet your needs. If you have a website localization project in the future, will this LSP be able to complete that service?

What does your translation process look like?

Does the LSP go through a three-step translation, editing, and proofreading (TEP) process? Who will be editing and proofreading your translations? One way to ensure you end up with a quality end product is to ask questions about translation processes and ensure they produce the level of quality you’re looking for.

How can my organization submit edits to translated documents?

Not every organization wants to review their translations after their LSP has sent them. However, if you do, and you have an internal translation review team prepared, be sure to ask questions about translation edits, best practices for submitting them, and how they’ll be integrated.

Questions about translation technology

What language technologies do you use?

In this digital age, there is a wide variety of translation technology that can support the work of an LSP. Ask about the kinds of language technologies they employ and be wary if they say they use machine translation. Technology is helpful, but linguists should be completing your translation projects to ensure the nuances of language are appropriately attended to.

Will you help my organization to create a style guide and glossary?

Style guides and glossaries tell the linguists who work on your projects how you want certain terms translated, what the tone of the translation should be, what terms to avoid translating, and much more. Having a style guide and glossary helps to ensure the consistency of your translated documents.

Do you use Translation Memory?

Translation Memory is one of many translation technologies that are used by LSPs. This particular technology reuses past translations to increase efficiency. When your translation project is completed, the language from the original (or source) document is stored along with the language from its translated counterpart in a secure database. Having a Translation Memory can decrease the amount of time and money you spend with a translation project, so this should certainly be one of your questions about translation technology.

Questions about translation linguists

How do you recruit the translators who will be working on our projects?

Asking about the recruitment process for translators can ease your mind and help you to determine what the quality level of your translated documents will be. What are the requirements for a translator to be considered? Do the linguists need to be affiliated with professional translation associations? Do they have degrees, references, etc.?

Do you test your linguists before they begin working with you? If so, how?

Testing linguists through verbal or written exams supports higher quality translations. If the linguists working with your potential LSP have been tested, and they passed that test, you can feel confident they’ll be able to handle your translation requests.

While there are other important questions to ask a potential new translation partner, this list will get you on the right path to finding an LSP that works effectively with your organization. If you’re looking for a new LSP, give us a call at 530-750-2040 or request a free quote today. We’d be happy to answer these questions for you!