Technical Translation Services - Finding The Right Company For The Job

Are you in need of technical translation services?  Do your homework and find the best agency possible.  Here are a few pointers to help you locate the agency provider that can handle all your translation needs.

There are eight key things to look for in a foreign language translation agency:

1. Look for firm that you want to work with to form a long-term relationship. This will ensure continued accuracy, consistency and timely translations.

2. Make sure the company has a selective screening process for their translators.  Ask how the company selects translators. Good agencies have processes for hiring translators.  Ask if the agency administers tests or requires samples.  Also, ask if the agency uses certified translators for projects that need a certification.  Does the agency check references? Does the agency hire translators with the appropriate technical and legal background?  Translators can be very highly educated.  For complex or technical translation services, you want to know that the person is experienced in translation and the particular jargon of the industry.

3. Learn about the company’s quality control. Make sure that the company has strict quality control processes to follow.  The qualified agency should have its own in-language editors and proofreaders.  In addition, all translations should be reviewed by a project manager before going out to the client.

4. Understand the services and in what fields the company specializes. If you need a legal document translated into five languages and mailed to overseas clients, make sure the company can handle the entire project.  Conversely, if all you need is a one-page translation into Spanish, will the company still take on your small job and not charge you higher rates for unnecessary services?  Ask if the company has translators experienced in legal translations and in the particular subject matter.

5. Ask for references and samples. When you talk to the references – ask about the company’s performance record and reputation for delivering on-time, on-budget, and high quality.  A reputable company will not violate confidentiality by showing you a job done for another client in your industry, but will often provide translation samples or a copy of published work.

6.  Find out what resources the company uses. Do the translators have a good library and access to other resources?  Good technical translators will research libraries, reference work, and the Internet to ensure that the translations are accurate.  Every year, linguists estimate that at least 3,000 words are added to major languages. Be sure that your translators stay current.

7. Find out if the translators are native speakers of the document’s target language. The source language is the current language of the document, the target being the language you request. A qualified translator should be equally proficient in both the source and the target language but translate into his or her native language.

8. Find out if the translators used for your documents are from the region where your document will be used. Linguistic nuances and cultural differences can arise quite frequently. In addition, expressions can vary because of historical influences.  For example, Arabic expressions in different Middle Eastern countries are often dependent upon the identity of their former occupying power – the British in Egypt, the Italians in Libya and the French in Lebanon.


After screening a language translation company, discuss your thoughts with others in the company.  Involving others in the final decision can shed new light on what you really need.  The selection of a translation service should be a firm decision, especially concerning technical translation services.  Sometimes two or three different translation services can be engaged simultaneously by lawyers on the same case, which can leave others involved in the case confused by substantial differences in material received from what is ostensibly the same source.  The benefits of familiarity and consistency of style, developed as the relationship between a client and a translation service grows, cannot be overestimated.

Rapport International, LLC provides language translation services in over 100 languages.  Rapport offers free quotes, free project consultations, and excellent customer service.  For more information, visit