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January 12, 2023

The Role of a Translation Company in a Global World

Last updated on February 4th, 2023 at 05:34 pm

Translation Company

What is the role of a translation company in a globalized world? It is to bridge and improve multilingual communication. It’s more important than you may first think. While automation is growing rapidly, and it can be tempting to outsource your translation needs to artificial intelligence, the results might not work in the best interest of your company and clients.

The most convenient and accurate services still come from a professional translation services company with the resources and technology to tackle your translation project in a clever and appropriate way to not only translate but facilitate communication.

Alternate Terms for a Translation Company

First, a point of clarification. The term translation company is the same as a translation agency and a language services provider. These terms are used interchangeably, and all mean the same thing: an organization that provides professional language translation services (and often interpretation services in a variety of languages for customers across the world. This is the act of translating content or copy in one language into another, in a way that the information in the new language is clear and compelling for its users.

The Activities Within a Language Service Provider

The purpose of a translation services company is to ensure that communication between languages is accurate, professional, and runs smoothly. But it goes beyond word-to-word translating. A translation company has to complete activities associated with the translation process depending on the project, and those are:

Transcreation Services

After understanding the source copy and during the translation process, professional translators adapt the piece to facilitate creating a work that resonates with the target audience in the target language. This is called “transcreation” and ensures that you receive a piece that serves the intended purpose while connecting you with an audience in a different language, country, and/ or culture. This is often done in marketing and includes changes in the content. Examples are changes in examples, slogans, song lyrics, etc.

Localization Services

Part of the translation services process is its localization. Localization is the process of making a translation linguistically and culturally appropriate for a specific audience. It is a vital part of the process because different cultures exist even within the same language. A translation from English to Spanish is a general translation, while a localized Spanish translation takes into account where the product or marketing will be used; Spain, Mexico, or the Dominican Republic, for example. Localization also considers the measurement and weight systems, adapts address conventions to the local usage, adjusting the currency system to the specifics of that country or local.

Internationalization Services

Another part of the role of a language service company is internationalization. This process ensures a product, software, or marketing piece is designed to accommodate the translation process and things that can change with translation. The extensive Internationalization preparation will be a theme for another translation blog.

One aspect of internationalization is text expansion. Text expansion is a common result of translating, and not accommodating for expanding or shrinking text can throw a wrench in the works of even the most well-designed piece. Another rule among best practices in internationalization is to not “Hard code” a translatable text and avoid text on images.

Translation Agencies Make It Easy to Have a Global Reach

So, what does this have to do with a globalized world? Companies are no longer beholden to state or country boundaries in doing business. A business based in China can target customers in Sweden, Brazil, or Canada. A company could have investors from another country or can have a diverse, multilingual workforce. Managing this complex communication and exchanges between languages and cultures requires planning and strategy to keep costs low and time spent efficiently. Working with an experienced translation agency guarantees that your team has the tools and strategy they need to succeed from the start, including localization and internationalization.

Having a thought global strategy in place also means that adding new languages to software or website is easy. Marketing pieces are accurate and culturally sensitive, and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you add a new market.

Part of solving the puzzle is selecting the right partner at your side, with the team, resources, know-how, and technology to bridge the gap—a translation company with the services you need and selected professional translators with subject matter expertise.

Traits of a Good Translation Agency

The language industry is centered on providing multilingual communications in oral and written form via a host of solutions for translation and interpretation services. This is a growing and fragmented marketplace, so do your homework when looking for your partner for translation services.

While the role of a language service company is crucial, it can be hard to sort through all of your options. There are thousands of language service providers worldwide, and the rise in AI translation services means you have even more options. So how do you know that you’re working with a reputable and trustworthy translation company that will provide high-quality translation services?

  • Offers a solid and diverse set of translation service solutions. You would like to select and work with a translation company that delivers multiple languages and has a solid track record of providing multilingual solutions. So, as you expand to other markets and languages, they can fulfill your needs. You also want to work with a company that offers all the services you might need and is in tune with the language industry changes and new technologies to adapt to environmental shifts. Validate that they have the technical capacities to manage large and complex projects.
  • The translation company utilizes a workflow management system. The many moving parts and pieces of translation service projects can’t be managed from an Excel document or via email. The best translation agencies have an established workflow management system that is the central hub of your projects. This system should have portals for you, the client, the project manager, and translators, connect to the necessary software like content management and translation memory tools, and be secured to hold sensitive information.
  • Do they use translation memory tools and glossary management? Cat Tools are Computer-Assisted Translation tools. Those are software to aid translators and linguists in translating, editing, managing, and storing translations. Translation memory (TM) software is used for projects with repetitive language to reduce costs and maintain consistency. Similarly, glossaries contain terms and language that is specific to your industry and your business for reference during the translation process. TM and glossaries should be updated regularly and maintained through collaboration between you and the translation service provider. This system should also include the review process for translations to ensure any mistakes or errors are caught before the final product is sent to you. A Cat Tool is software that aids translation companies in aiming for high-quality translations.
  • Can the translation agency provide client references? Any language service provider that does its job well has happy clients. They have client references. Read translation services testimonials or ask the agency to connect you directly to past clients so you can vet them yourself. If a company has no client referrals or says they do and refuses to share, that’s a red flag. References are a common practice in the translation industry.
  • Teams with industry-specific experience. Translation services are broad, and several disciplines and industries need language services. To guarantee you’re working with a company that understands your specialty, industry content, and terminology, ask for case studies and specific projects completed in your industry.
  • Professional translators are language and industry experts. As stated above, it’s not enough for a translator to have a conversational understanding of a language. A reputable translation service company employs professional translators with years of experience in the language and subject matter you’re working with. Don’t be afraid to ask for the qualifications and experience of your translators!
  • They have a team of project managers. While some translation services are one-off projects, many are part of a larger project with many phases and moving parts to coordinate. Your translation agency should have an established project management system and a project manager who is your main point of contact. Your assigned project manager will keep you updated on the progress and deadline. Will reach out to coordinate the necessary information, and manage the team of translators, desktop publishing team, localization engineers, and other team members for your translation service project. Many project managers are bi- or tri-lingual so that they can communicate with clients in their preferred language. Project managers are responsible for the overall quality of the project.
  • One-stop Shop Language Services provider Translation companies come in different sizes and flavors, some only provide translation services in one language others are multiple language providers with a host of multilingual solutions. Select the best fit for your language needs. Ask for the language solutions for all your requirements now and in the future. Do you need the translation of your website? Will you require interpretation services for phone interpretation and zoom interpretation? Do you need legal and technical translations?
  • They have data security and confidentiality policies. As stated above, translators can interact with sensitive or propriety information throughout the translation process. Good translation companies take every precaution to protect your data and the data of your clients. Ask your agency how they protect their data.
  • Are they’re willing to sign NDAs? By the nature of their work, translators can see various confidential information. It is a common practice to have the agency and linguists sign non-disclosure agreements before getting started to ensure your private information stays private

Industries in need of language translation services

Even the smallest of businesses can have an international audience, thanks to the wonderful world of the internet. Websites, marketing materials, and social media give you endless opportunities to reach new people around the world. But reaching new audiences in other countries or cultures requires the right language and the proper understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate.

Some industries need the assistance of a language services company more than others. These include:

  • Legal Service Providers
  • Medical and Healthcare Companies
  • Financial Service Companies
  • Manufacturing Businesses
  • e-commerce stores
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Entertainment and Gaming Companies
  • Scientific Researchers
  • Government entities
  • e-learning courses

The right professional translation company makes it easy for you to expand your reach and create messaging that resonates with every target audience. Even if you don’t know where to start, the professionalism and experience of a language service provider can illuminate the path that leads you to global growth. At JR Language Translation Services, we go the extra mile to exceed your expectations at affordable prices with workable turnaround times. Contact us for a translation or interpretation services quote today— we’d love to hear from you.

Victoria Wildow
Victoria Wildow
Since 2018, Victoria Wildow has put her problem-solving, technology-centered mind to use in her roles as a Translation Project Manager, Typesetter, and now Marketing Associate at JR Language. She is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Media Arts and Technology program. Victoria helps ensure our clients' various designs maintain the same look and feel in their new languages while also managing projects in various media. She loves learning about new technologies and is currently developing websites in her free time.