10 Questions Good Translation Companies Will Ask You

If your potential translation provider asks you some of these questions, it means that you are dealing with a company that truly knows the business.

Miloš Matović 2015-03-24 Consulting

10 Questions Good Translation Companies Will Ask You

Our previous articles have covered a great deal of characteristics every decent language service provider should have to help you choose the right one from among the thousands of companies on the market.

We have also included a list of questions you should ask your prospective translation agency. This article, however, features a list of questions a truly professional and experienced translation company should ask you as its prospective client.

If your potential translation provider asks you some of these questions, it means that you are dealing with a company that truly knows the business.

The importance of client input during the translation process can never be emphasized enough. Good translation agencies are aware they are not omnipotent, and will always ask their clients for suggestions.

1. Can you tell us more about the translation audience?

The tone, style, and form of the translated documents may vary greatly depending on whether the translated materials will be used internally by the client’s company or by a specific wider audience. Good translation agencies are always aware of this and will ask for this info.

2. Do you want the translation reviewed by a native speaker?

The services of linguists who are also native speakers of the target language are usually required as the final level of quality control. Good translation agencies employ native linguists and offer this type of review.

3. Can you provide earlier translations for consistency with new ones?

This is crucial, especially where ongoing projects are concerned. To ensure the highest level of consistency, good translation agencies will gladly consult previous translations provided by other LSPs.

4. Do you have your own glossary, style guide, or preferred terms?

Every business has its own lingo. To ensure the highest level of consistency and clarity to the target audience, a good LSP will always ask for a list of specific terms to be used throughout the document.

5. Are there any terms that should be avoided?

Certain terms may be unusable for legal or marketing reasons in specific territories. Good LSPs understand this and ask about this before the project starts.

6. Do you use CAT tools and which do you prefer?

CAT tools have been around for quite a while now. Some clients will use them while others will not, and some will require specific software for their projects. Good translation agencies offer a variety of solutions and ask for the client’s preferences.

7. Do you have a TM of previous translations and do you want a TM of the new translation delivered?

Just like CAT tools, TMs have become a norm, and good translation agencies will gladly use existing ones and deliver new ones.

8. Do you need additional services, such as DTP or localization of non-textual elements?

Almost every professional translation agency is also a localization vendor, and can provide an all-in-one solution for complex localization projects.

9. Can we contact you during the translation in case we encounter ambiguous phrases?

The importance of client input during the translation process can never be emphasized enough. Good translation agencies are aware they are not omnipotent, and will always ask their clients for suggestions.

10. What were the positive and negative aspects of working with your previous LSPs?

Good LSPs will always want to learn about your previous experiences with other translation agencies – both to continue their own good practices and to avoid the mistakes of others.