Choosing the Best Translation Services Agency – 5 Key Factors You Need to Consider

Translation services have recently become an inseparable part of any successful international business. From translating documents, websites or campaigns aimed at the foreign audience to interpreting business meetings and conferences – language conversions are at the very forefront of corporate processes today.

Fortunately, a vast majority of business owners fully understand this, and so working with professional agencies that specialise in translations and interpreting services is now an everyday occurrence within the corporate sector. It is in fact often incorporated into many companies’ annual budgets. Being able to communicate globally with both clients as well as business partners regardless of their language, location or market creates fantastic opportunities for companies from all industries.

The global translations sector is definitely a reflection of this. So far in 2022, the number of agencies in the UK offering affordable and professional language translation services and other solutions such as interpreting, transcription or localisation has grown considerably. In London alone, there are now several suppliers such as Language Reach, UK Lingo or Translation Services 24, which offer these services to businesses from practically any industry and across all document types, .

Creating these competitive advantages, however, requires for a business to carefully plan and execute their internationalisation processes. One of the key aspects of a successful campaign is finding the best translations provider for your particular needs.

This is, however, often much easier said than done. With hundreds of potential agencies in the United Kingdom alone, being able to find a translations company which fully meets your specific requirements and is able to translate your documents into the required languages can be a challenging process. 

Don’t worry though. To make things a little easier for you, today, we’ll evaluate in depth the 5 essential factors you need to carefully assess and consider when searching for a new professional translation supplier. 

Does the agency specialise in translations for your industry?

Translation services can vary not only from language to language, but also from industry to industry. For example, generally speaking, a marketing campaign for an e-commerce store will have a different tone and aim than a legal or financial document required by to be translated by a law firm. This is a significant distinction to bear in mind, as usually professional linguists specialise in translating content, they feel most comfortable in.

Although the general skillset required to accurately convert documents is similar across all translations, in order for any industry/type specific materials to be precise, it’s key to work with linguists who understand not only the target language, but also grasp your corporate sector.

When searching for a translations agency, make sure to check their past clients to see, whether they have previously worked with a company from your industry. 

Are they an accredited ATC member?

ATC UK (Association of Translation Companies) is an official organisation for language agencies in the United Kingdom. By becoming a registered member of the ATC, translation companies are able to offer certified translations of documents to business and private clients. 

In order to become an ATC member, the translation agency has to meet rigorous requirements. As a result, any provider that is a registered member of the Association of Translation Companies must adhere to the highest industry standards, giving you the extra peace of mind.

How many languages can they cover?

Translating business documents is a complex process, and this can get even more complicated if you are required to contact a number of different suppliers at the same time. 

If, for example, you need to translate your documents into French, German and Spanish, but your chosen supplier doesn’t cover one of the languages required, you’ll have to go through the searching process again, focusing on the additional providers who can offer the remaining language in question.

To avoid this, it’s key to ensure that your chosen agency is able to provide an array of languages and dialects. This will not only allow you to save time in the short term, but also further down the line should you need to convert your materials again into an additional language. 

Do they work with native human linguists?

When it comes to business documents/materials, especially within the marketing or corporate sector, it is absolutely imperative that your chosen translations agency works with native human linguists. 

Marketing campaigns often take into the account not only linguistic aspects, but also focus on socio-cultural factors, as these can directly affect how your translated content (and consequently your brand) is perceived overseas. 

By double checking with the agency of your choice that your documents will be translated by professional linguists who are native speakers of the target language, you can maximise the reliability of your translations. Native linguists will not only be able to accurately convert the linguistic aspects, but also consider the market’s social and cultural nuances and adjust your documents accordingly. 

Are their processes secure?

The security and privacy of you documents should be at the very heart of the translation agency’s interest. Especially within the legal and financial sectors, sensitive documents are translated on the daily basis.

Whether or not your specific documents are sensitive, making sure that the agency you work with follows strict privacy measurements and criteria proves not only their general abilities and a professional approach, but can also be extremely beneficial down the line, should you need to translate sensitive materials at some point in the future. 

So…A quick summary

Choosing a translation agency is not always a straightforward process. It requires a good understanding of factors, which can determine whether a particular supplier is the best possible choice for your specific documents or materials. 

From working with native, human translators to being a certified member of the ATC and a specialist in converting materials from your business industry, all of these, plus more, can directly influence the reliability of a chosen translation agency.

The good news is, however, that once you establish a successful relationship with a translations provider, it can last several years. In fact, the longer you work with a supplier, the more reliable the translations will become, as the agency will be able to better understand your preferred translation style, tone as well as the general concept behind your business and documents.