How to avoid common mistakes when selecting a Language Services Provider

26, Aug 2021

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How to avoid common mistakes when selecting a Language Services Provider



Who’s your ideal Language Services Provider? That’s an easy one: it’s the one you can forget about. 

When they are so good at what they do, you will never need to worry again about translation, interpreting, or any other language-related task. 

So, how do you find this ideal partner? The first thing is to draw a list of your company’s language needs. They will of course be specific to your company, but there are a few points which are the same no matter what and where you sell. So, you will always need an LSP that:

1. Covers the languages of your foreign prospects and partners, not only in the standard, but also in the local variations. It’s not so good offering your products to your francophone Lebanese prospects if you use Metropolitan French words which are not in their everyday vocabulary. 

2. Works with specialized translators. If you need to translate legal documents, the best translator for the job is someone who’s an expert in legal terminology in the target language. If your company produces machinery and you want to explain how it works to your foreign customer, you need a translator who knows the technical jargon.

3. Can provide more than just translation services. It’s unlikely that all you need is translation. For instance, if you are going to market abroad, you will certainly need your marketing materials to be localized to the target market, and you would also do well to include multilingual SEO in your website. So, it’s important your LSP can also provide language services such as:

  • Transcreation
  • Localization
  • Multilingual SEO
  • Brand Language Management

Again, these are general needs. In order to find the specific language needs of your company, you must of course communicate with all internal departments — and with your foreign partners as well. Do your clients need instruction videos? Do your salespeople want an interpreter for strategic meetings? Only they can tell you.

How to choose the right LSP for your company

Once you know what your company’s language needs are, you can go about looking for the right LSP. Here are a few best practices to ensure you find the ideal partner:

  • Research certified companies
  • Check who their clients are
  • Look into client reviews and ratings
  • Verify if they work with native translators
  • Ask for a translation test before starting the collaboration or correctly evaluate the first translations performed

Also, make sure to avoid these common mistakes that might hamper your collaboration: 

  • Getting a provider who can’t work with the technology you use. Let’s say your marketing material is developed in one software, but your LSP’s translators only work with another one. The probability of wasting time and getting unsatisfactory results is simply too great. Find a company that speaks your language when it comes to technology.
  • Choosing an LSP who’s in a different time zone — and doesn’t take that into account. A different time zone may not be a problem in all cases, but if you frequently need urgent work, you won’t be happy waiting until 10 pm in your office because you need it to be 8 am somewhere else in the world. Even if they work with native translators living in their home countries on the other side of the planet, good translation companies are organized so that the time differences are planned for and rendered innocuous.
  • Working with a company that doesn’t allow you to speak directly to the translators. Your people will need to do some back-and-forth with the translators to ensure that the translated material is exactly what they want. But some companies won’t allow direct contact between their team and yours. This makes for more time wasted and greater probability of misunderstandings. So, make sure you work with an LSP that really integrates their team and yours.

Finding the right partner to help you solve all foreign language issues will save you an incalculable amount of resources and stress. And you can do this by going about it in a logical and informed way. 

Learn what your real needs are, find a translation company with a great record, and communicate well with them about what you need and what they can provide. Then sit back — and forget about it.





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