Engaging a professional and reliable translation agency is vital for any individual or company dealing with global customers. The translation and localization help you offer your services and products to new markets without the challenge of miscommunication, giving your business the competitive edge it needs.

With the right translation services, you position yourself for growth and global identity. However, whether you are looking for website translation services or the translation of a single document, understanding what translation entails is pivotal for the entire process’s success.

Here are 5 critical questions to ask before engaging any translation and localization company:

  1. What Do You Need to Translate?

Translation can be an involving task, so having a clear mind on what needs to be translated can make the process easy for you and your translator. Before you approach any translation company, you need to decide what exactly should be translated.

If it is a document, are you looking forward to just the text translated or are there images you would want to be included in the text? If there are charts and tables, you should be clear on that from the start. In case you want a software localized, should the process include translation of the software documentation also?

Asking yourself such questions not only helps you get a precise quote, but it also gives your translator an overview of your project’s scope.

  1. Who Does the Final Document Target?

In translation, your target audience matters as much as the message you want to pass. Start by considering who the consumers of the message you are trying to pass will be. For instance, is the document meant for internal or external use? Are you translating the document for marketing purposes?

Where a different culture is involved, a lot of effort will be needed to make sure that the target audience understands the translated content. Overly, your target audience determines the quality of the translation required.

  1. What is the Required Brand Voice and Content Style?

If you are translating your company’s documents, you need to fit into a distinct brand voice or style. Are there terms that should be captured during the translation process to match your brand style and voice? If you have a style guide or a glossary that contains a list of preferred terms, you should provide them to your translator.

  1. What Services Would Be Appropriate for Your Needs?

Understanding your needs can guide you into determining the types of services you will require. For instance, do you need desktop publishing? If it is a software you need to be translated, will there be a QA and Testing session? Will you need some help producing your multilingual videos?

Often, translation agencies have different rates for a variety of services. Understanding what types of services you will need will help you get a comprehensive quote and go for an agency that offers all the services you need.

  1. What Are Your Expectations?

Everybody has their expectations. For instance, most people do not feel comfortable sharing company information with third parties. Are you in this category? What will be your participation level in the entire translation process? For some people, getting involved in every phase of the translation works best. Having a clear vision of expectations helps you match your translator’s process effectively.

Final Thoughts

Translation services are becoming a key part of businesses’ success in the global market. If you need to communicate with your customers outside your culture, you will need appropriately-translated documents. Asking yourself the above questions will help you prepare well for the translation process. Additionally, it will be easy for you to find the most appropriate translation company for your specific needs if you have the right information.