Because translation isn’t a hard science, and because it doesn’t belong to a field that produces objectively measureable deliverables, you will always take a risk when hiring a translation provider. While from the outside translation might seem like a hard science (the simple exchange of one word for another within different Translation Services grammatical structures) the truth is anything but that. Translation requires a deep intimacy with both languages involved and is more about understanding and navigating the countless cultural assumptions of each language. Translation is about feeling your way through text and speech as much as simply exchanging one word for its counterpart. Add on the fact that you won’t be able to tell whether or not the translation you requisition is accurate and sensitive or not on your own, and it becomes apparent that you will need to seek out as many credibility indicators as possible from the providers you’re looking to hire.
One of the best and most accurate credibility indicators out there is the length of time that your potential translator or translation services company has been working in the business. The longer they’ve been providing translations for clients the better. There are plenty of new companies that have sprung up Translation Services with the advent of the internet and hiring one of these new companies is going to be a hit or miss affair. You’ll have a hard time knowing whether this is a legitimate company or if it’s simply taking advantage of this new trend. Hiring a company that’s been around before the recent boom in interest in translation is a great idea.
If you’re looking to hire a company for translation services it’s also a good idea to hire a company that offers a wide variety of translation services. This variety should manifest itself both in a variety of different languages they work in and a number of different types of translations they provide- such as technical, legal, and general translations. If you are working regularly with people who speak other languages there’s a good chance that over the course of your career you’ll utilize this range of translation services.
Finally, it’s a good idea to find a company or individual who provides translation services for a wide range of clients; everyone from Fortune 500 companies to individuals. If you haven’t noticed by now, the number one thing you’re looking for from a translation service provider is flexibility. You want a provider you can develop a lifelong relationship with, who will be able to meet all of your translation needs- even those you don’t know you have just yet.