Looking for a Translation Agency? What Should You Know?

Translation Agency

If you have to search for a translation agency for the first time, take your time because it’s not quite the same as finding another service. The chances are that you’ll never know how good the final product is that you are requesting until you get feedback from the people you are sending your letters, documents, files or website content to. If you are communicating with a German company, for instance, you need to have whatever it is that you wanted translated understood better than if you used English. In fact, you would prefer that the translated text is as good as if it was written by a German speaker. But what sort of questions should you ask a German translation service to ensure you get the quality you are looking for at the right price?

Is the translation agency certified by the national body?

Certified translators are no guarantee that they are the best German translators, but the certification or accreditation process will mean that the translators have reached certain standards and are not just bilingual speakers who think they are capable of translating anything.

What is the standard of proofreading and editing?

Ask how the English German translators edit and proofread their work. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely that you will be able to do it and you won’t want someone in Germany or Austria asking you to clarify what you have sent them. Good translation agencies will always spend part of their translation time in thorough editing and proofreading to ensure an accurate document.

Are the translators native speakers and what is their familiarity with the culture and society of the people for which your material is intended?

This applies to any language you want your documents or websites translating into. It is always best to look for a German translation service that employs native German speakers if you are translating from English into German and preferably translators who have kept up with what is going on in German speaking countries, especially if the material you want translated is marketing material that heavily depends on idiom and cultural nuances.

How does the translation agency charge for its work?

Most translators charge by the word, but may add a little extra for more demanding translation material like legal or medical documents. In fact, if your material is particularly sensitive or specialised you will need to ask whether the translators are particularly qualified to translate that kind of material and how much extra they might charge. Another add-on is if you want fast service e.g. over the weekend or public holidays. Not all translators will do this but if they do, you can expect a supplement.