Clients of translation companies, perhaps especially new clients, are sometimes uncomfortable with their limited ability to evaluate first-hand the quality of delivered translations. Since they don’t speak the language, how can they be assured that the translation is accurate, of high quality?
This is one of the understandable frustrations that translation clients sometimes experience. Below are a few guidelines and general practices that translation clients can follow to help ensure they receive high quality translations and achieve some measure of peace of mind.
- Use established translation vendors. Just as a local restaurant that serves unappetizing food will not remain in business long, a translation company that delivers sub-standard translations will not survive. Mature translation companies with steady project flow are indications of a quality translation provider.
- Ask about the quality control process your translation services provider follows. For example is the initial translation proofread by a second translator? Are the translators native speaking in the target language? These practices are followed by many translation companies although some may skimp on quality control measures in order to reduce costs and offer a cheaper price. No matter the price, is a sub-standard translation ever a bargain?
- Some translation clients will have translations reviewed by a third party. When clients have a third party review a translation, make sure they are native speaking in the target language of the translation. Also make sure the reviewer is narrowly directed. A reviewer’s role is not to re-translate the text but rather mainly to confirm there are no problems with the translation. The reviewer may have different language preferences but such instances are not errors. In our experience over the years with client-side reviewers, statistically it’s about 50/50 whether they make a favorable contribution to a translation project.