The world today is a much smaller place, than it was even just a few decades ago. Nowadays, we live in a world where goods, services or products are easily accessible across all borders and made available to the customers practically within days, and where international business communication between companies happens within seconds. Nonetheless, although the progress in globalisation creates great opportunities for businesses and allows them to trade internationally with overseas consumers and corporate partners, it also creates challenges, for example, cultural or language barriers.
These barriers must be successfully reduced in order for UK based businesses to approach new, foreign markets productively. As a result, in today’s corporate world, working with translation agencies that are able to provide professional translations is absolutely essential, and so more and more business owners decide to partner with language solution providers and dedicate a part of their annual budget to accurately translate content and documents aimed at international clients.
Finding global and professional translation services in London, especially for converting corporate or business documents is, however, often easier said than done. Companies such as ‘UK Translations’ ‘TS24 London’ or ‘Language Services Now’ are some of the fastest growing translation agencies in the United Kingdom, and although the number of language translators and suppliers grows continuously, being able to pick a translation partner that will be able to meet all of your specific requirements can be difficult. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 5 most important aspects you (or your company) should pay attention to when looking for an expert translations agency, and those are:
- Native linguists
- Sector expertise
- Secure systems
- ATC and translation memberships
- Number of languages covered
Let’s start with…Native Linguists
One of the most important aspects to look out for when choosing a translations company is to ensure that the translators working for them are native, human linguists. Often, translation agencies will provide machine conversions or translations done by speakers who are not native of the target language. This can seriously affect the quality of language conversion and affect the final outcome of your documents. As a general rule of thumb, always ask the translation agency whether translators or linguists they work with are native, human speakers, especially if the content you need to translate is for business use -e.g. marketing campaigns or legal documents.
If you need to translate documents or materials for a corporate use, the language or jargon used within your particular business sector might be extremely specific. Indeed, the terms used in marketing environment won’t be understood by someone who works in law and vice-versa.
Similarly, some specific corporate terms might not be accurately translated if the person covering them doesn’t fully understand them and doesn’t have a first-hand experience in your business sector. Consequently, when looking for a new translation company to work with, ensure that their translators are assigned to documents which correspond with their particular business knowledge and match your corporate requirements.
Privacy and security play an increasingly significant role in today’s business environment. In the digital era, all documents must be stored securely, and so the translations provider must be able to guarantee, that their individual processes and systems are fully secure and able to withstand any outside threats, such as, for example, data loss or hacker’s attack.
Majority of UK based translation agencies use third party storage systems, such as Amazon’s AWS Servers or Google’s Drive. Some of them however, opted for in-house, custom built data storage that allows the to access documents and materials easily without involving any third parties.
In order to ensure that your chosen translation supplier works to the highest industry standards, simply ask them what their protocols are when it comes to data security and what specific certifications they adhere to. Some of the UK’s leading translation companies will be able to present their systems and processes in a straightforward and easy to understand way, so that even if you don’t fully comprehend the security systems, you will be able to grasp the most important aspects.
UK Translation Memberships (ATC)
The ATC, also known as the Association of Translation Companies, is the UK’s main and official translation body, which lists all professional translation agencies that have successfully passed ATC’s rigours tests and met all requirements in order to become a full member.
On their website, we can read: “The Association of Translation Companies (ATC) is a professional membership association representing the interests of language service companies in the UK and internationally. The ATC is the leading voice for companies operating in the UK’s language services industry. ATC membership is recognised as the mark of quality-managed language services. The ATC defines standards of excellence for language service companies by promoting quality-driven services and best practice. The ATC influences the advancement of language service companies and the language services industry through its research, initiatives and activities, in collaboration with its stakeholders.”
If you’re looking for expert translation services in London, the ATC website should be the first place to start. Alternatively, when approaching a supplier or translator, make sure to ask them whether they are an officially accredited agency. By doing this, you can ensure that the company you’re about to work with follows all industry standards in terms of security, quality of their work as well as customer service.
On a similar note – It’s also a good idea to read other third-party reviews before approaching any translation companies with your documents. Places like Google reviews or ‘Trustpilot’ are fantastic sites where you will be able to read unbiased and honest reviews from the agency’s past clients.
Number of Languages Covered
Generally speaking, if everything goes according to plan, teaming up with a translations agency is a long-term relationship. The longer the language supplier works with your particular content and documents, the more accurate the translations will be and the more money you’ll be able to save based on TM (Translations Memory) and word repetitions. Consequently, choosing a supplier which is able to cover a wide range of languages and content types can prove to be extremely beneficial down the line.
Should your company require further translations of the same content into a number of different languages, or if your business grows and chooses to approach a number of different foreign markets, having a translation agency that understands what you’re really about and that is able to accurately convert your content according to your specifications is a truly great advantage.
These are 5 of the most important aspects you should look out for when choosing a translation services agency to partner with. Whether you need to translate documents for business or personal use, following these guides can save you time and money. Additionally, and this is especially true for corporate clients, making sure that the provider follows these 5 characteristics can protect your company from any mistranslations, that might negatively affect how your business is perceived by the international markets.
So, choose wisely and help others in finding the best translator by sharing this guide on social media!