How to Select the Right Translation Service
Last updated: September 30th, 2014 by admin
Finding a suitable translation service to translate your correspondence or documents can be a confusing process. In theory, every translation service should be able to provide a similar level of expertise, but in practice this is rarely the case, and it pays to do some research before you finally commit your documents to a particular service provider. The following are some tips to help you make that all important decision.
The first question you will need to answer is how important are your documents. Many documents for government approval, for instance, such as immigration documents and business permits need to be translated by a certified NAATI translation service and not just by an individual person who happens to be a native speaker of the language you need to translate. That narrows the list down considerably as there are only a certain number of accredited translators that you can then use.
Then you should be sure of what exactly you want translated. Many NAATI translators are able to translate a range of documents but may specialize in certain languages or may be wary of translating certain types of documents. If you have legal documents, for instance, then you should select a translation service that has the relevant experience in legal terminology, not just in English but in the target language as well. Some legal translators will have knowledge of the law in both countries involved and this can be important when a document has exacting requirements.
Do you need to talk to the translator? If you think that your documents can be trusted to an online service then this is often the cheapest option, but if you think that you need to discuss the translation with the translator, for instance if you have a lot of material you want translate, like a book or a whole website, then you may need to search for a translation service in your area.
Note that there is quite a lot of variation in the size of the translation service. Even certified NAATI translation service providers can vary from a single person involved who just translates a single language to a large company with multiple offices and a large number of different translators with a variety of languages offered. This can be a matter of personal preference as well as a matter of price.
How soon do you want your material translated? This is something that should be discussed with any potential translation service before you make a final choice. Companies will vary in the speed with which they can offer a translation. Some may be able to offer a quick turn-around time, even a same day service, for a higher rate.
The final choice will depend on weighing up all these considerations above and comparing them to the price of the service quoted. You should certainly not consider using the cheapest translation provider if it means compromising on quality, speed and accuracy.