Do you need to change translation providers? Ten signs that you should consider it
You can tell a good translation when you don’t notice that it’s a translation. And a good translation provider shouldn’t draw much attention, either. Your language partner should deliver quality multilingual content without making significant demands on you. You’ve got other things to do! If translation has become a time-consuming hassle, it’s time to change translation providers.
At the start of your first project with a new translation provider, you should expect to work closely with the project manager. As time goes by, you should field fewer queries and spend less time on the details.
However, the opposite can happen. If the translation process is taking up too much bandwidth, and you recognize the following problems, you need a new translation provider.
Why change translation providers?
- Sluggish response times. You know you aren’t their only client. Nevertheless, if you have a question or complaint or a new project, you should not wait more than 24 hours for a reply.
- Multiple project managers. Working with the same project manager ensures consistency and allows projects to flow seamlessly. If you get someone different every time you reach out, it takes effort to ensure this new person understands your needs.
- Anonymous project managers. Some language providers have outsourced the project management function to overseas workers, limiting your in-house contact to a salesperson. If a problem arises, you might struggle to communicate clearly with the person who is actually managing your projects.
- An impenetrable client portal. Everyone loves a self-service portal that works well and saves time. But when you need to talk to a person, you need visibility of the humans behind the portal.
- Complaints about translation quality. This seems like it should be the first item on this list, but the fact is, everybody has an opinion, especially when it comes to their native language. Complaints are inevitable. What matters is how your translation provider responds. They should either provide clear evidence that the compliant is invalid or they should make timely corrections. If you already struggle with points 1 through 4, you’ll really struggle with point 5.
- Too much time extracting data, preparing source files, and integrating translated content. Your language partner should always work to accommodate new file formats and technologies. A tech-savvy project manager should troubleshoot ways to take these tasks off your desk.
- Inconsistent translations. Your project manager should use translation tools and a strong in-house QA (quality assurance) process to ensure consistency across all content. If your translation provider isn’t using the correct tools, or skipping QA, you can end up with errors.
- Unexpected charges. You may have chosen your provider based on their low per-word translation rate. However, if that rate does not include revision, basic reformatting, and project management, your provider will charge extra for these essentials.
- You need a new service that your provider doesn’t support. Voiceovers, subtitling, mobile apps, software, e-learning… if your business makes use of digital multimedia, you’ll need a provider who can leverage translated content across all channels.
- You need a new language that your provider can’t handle. Perhaps you’ve sourced one language from the same provider for years. As your business expands to new markets, you’ll need additional languages. If you split a multilingual project between several different providers, each specializing in a different language, you’ll be playing the role of a translation project manager yourself. Work with a multi-language provider so that all languages are managed by the same team. This cuts down significantly on the administrative work required of you.
Take the pain out of translation and localization
Translation has become a “must” in many industries. Not all businesses can maintain a specialized localization manager or department. Instead, translation becomes the responsibility of someone whose regular duties (and skills, and passions) lay elsewhere. If you are that person, and you need to change translation providers, avoid the hassles described above. Contact Scriptis.