5 questions to ask your potential translation agency
When shopping around for a translation agency, it is your right to be informed. Thus, we at Go Dutch Translation believe in educating and empowering clients. We want clients to make the best decisions regarding their language service needs. Here are our 5 questions to ask your potential translation agency, straight from an industry insider.
1. What makes your agency stand out?
There are thousands of translation agencies of all types. They range from are one person operations to conglomerates with 100s of employees. However, the translation agency you choose depends on your needs rather than their size.
As a client, it’s essential to be informed. Be prepared to ask your potential translation agency why they stand out. You may find that the scrappy upstart can handle your 20,000-word project just as well as the large agency, but without the costly overhead.
And be sure to do your homework. Use search engines like Google to find out more information about the agency if you’re not sure. You want to work with a translation agency that both knows what they are doing and is known for what they are doing.
2. Are your specializations right for my needs?
One-size-fits-all should be a dirty term in our industry.
Clients come from all sorts of backgrounds. Accordingly, clients have all sorts of needs. For example, an agency specialized in legal translations is best equipped to handle legalese. Thus, be careful to match up your translation needs with the capabilities of the agency.
It’s important that you find out their specializations right away. Do their translators have significant experience in your sector? Or—even better—do they have formal education in it? All these questions and more go a long way in choosing a language service partner. Because when it has to be right, you need to go to a specialist.
3. Do you offer any sort of satisfaction guarantee?
Even the most earnest and prepared translation agencies can get it wrong. What counts is what they do about it. Do they offer some sort of satisfaction guarantee? Will they provide a rewrite free of charge? Can the agency arrange for outside proofreading?
Sometimes even a partial refund or rewrite goes a long way in building trust and a fruitful long-term business relationship. Thus, any agency worth its salt should be prepared to rectify any situation in which the client is not fully satisfied. In our industry, our reputation is only as good as our work—and we know it.]
4. Who are your translators?
This is a vital question. While many agencies will not allow for direct contact between translator and end client, the best agencies will have no problem providing more information about their freelancers. Some will even provide blind CVs from which clients can choose for their projects.
As a rule, the better the agency, the more experienced their translators. Better yet if their translators have formal education in various specialized sectors such as law, finance, or medicine.
At Go Dutch Translation, we are a translation team of opposite language professional translators. What you see is what you get—here, your project managers are your translators and vice versa.
5. Are there any hidden fees?
This is an important one.
For most languages, clients pay per word. However, some agencies will charge per word and then tack on a percentage as a project management fee. Be sure to ask beforehand how the agency charges for their work. Also, remember to ask if there are any rush fees—agencies may impose “rush” fees depending on the number of words and deadline.