Four ways to check you have a good translation. And why it’s not just about content accuracy.

We’ve discussed before what makes a good translation – the anchor points language service providers (LSPs) put in place to ensure accuracy. But when a translation lands, how do you know what to look for?

1) Did you and your LSP set a realistic deadline? And meet it?

Sounds obvious, but all LSPs want to meet client expectations, and get your translation back to you as quickly as possible without forsaking quality. You can tell when a translation is rushed, so beware the LSP that says “yes” to everything. If a deadline is unrealistic, a good LSP will be honest and transparent and work towards a more achievable solution without promising the earth.

However, every customer needs to know exactly when their translation is going to arrive, and a top LSP will have their own version of an online account dashboard where you can track job progress so you’re not left with any last minute surprises.

2) Did the LSP do more with your reserved words, glossaries and terminologies?

Hopefully, your LSP explained what they can do with all your essential brand words and phrases before the translation started. Were you told about how preloaded glossaries and reserved words can speed up translations and boost quality? Today, customers need more from their LSPs, and while treating glossaries and reserved words exactly to the client’s wishes is paramount, LSPs should be proactive.

If you haven’t got time to come up with your own list of preferred words and phrases your LSP can scan your content and come up with a list of most frequently translated words, and push them back to you for approval. Expert translators will also be able to offer alternatives which you may want to use in the future, and which can be used in context to add to your portfolio of content.

3) Test your translations in your community. How do they read for comprehension and readability?

You can pass the translation through to a colleague or someone in the office who has the necessary industry, brand and local language expertize. However, don’t rely on a back translation as a true test of quality – here are a few reasons why.

You can test whether it read well. Was it fluent and clear and on brand message? If the reader keeps tripping over clunky phrasing, then it’s possible that the translation might not be 100% accurate.

4) A good translation is also about a good translation experience

A good translation isn’t just about content accuracy. Did the account manager communicate openly and well during the translation project? Account managers can be useful for more than just clearing up misunderstandings and agreeing deadlines. They will make themselves available for a review of the first job and how things went. And make themselves available for ongoing communications.

Translations are a simple and cost-effective way to reach more customers and make more sales. Using local language will also reassure a customer that you have taken the time and trouble to research and commit to new markets.

You can get a quote right now.

By Ben Whittacker-Cook