Mistakes people make when searching for a translation service

online translation service

Mistakes people make when searching for a translation service

Choosing an ideal translation service is one of the essentials for businesses seeking to tap into overseas markets. As a result, the number of agencies offering translation services has been on the increase. This has made selecting an ideal translation service one of the most delicate decisions companies have to make. Making a wrong choice can and has proven to be costly to some of the multinationals. An example of such a case is HSBC, an international bank, which had to rebrand after a translation mishap caused by a single phrase. Many more other pitfalls exist and as a result, we have put together a list of common mistakes which businesses and non-governmental organizations should seek to avoid when deciding on the translation service of choice.

Not previewing the service

This may seem like such a straight forward step to take but companies tend to rush into hiring translation services without a performing a background check. Instead of relying on the information on brochures, it is advisable to also have a look at some of the work done previously by the agency. This allows businesses to have an idea of the quality of work to expect. Engaging previous clients and other references is also paramount as it makes it possible to have an in-depth knowledge about the performance of the agency.

Factors to consider are in respect to the type of content being worked on. These include:


Consulting on the overall experience of working with the potential contractor will highlight the strengths and the weaknesses of the agency.


This is respect to set deadlines as well as attending to clients’ queries.


Some agencies have numerous hidden costs that become evident as the job nears competition. And if these costs are not budgeted for, the whole project may be compromised.

Hiring a general translation service

While most of the content can be handled by general translation agency, some content needs specialized translators to ensure integrity. Examples include legal, medical, industrial and technical documents among others. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the agency offers specialized services in the particular field. In other words, an organization in the medical field should not hire an agency unless they have work in the field before. However, if the agency has qualified translators in the one of these niches, a well-informed exception based on the qualities of the translator can be made.

Making Decisions solely based on price

This is common in the industry. This should be a secondary consideration rather the primary factor. Cheaper services are likely to be accompanied by low-quality work. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. However, this is not to say that high prices always present good quality. As Warren Buffet once said, ‘price is what you pay. Value is what you get’.

These three mistakes should be avoided. On top of these, it is important to consider contract details and the steps involved in the translation process. Again it’s vital to ensure that the agency has the financial stability to oversee the completion of the project. Ensuring protection against the breach of contracts also helps businesses avoid financial losses as well as enable them to be compensated for any wasted time.

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