Today, the buzzwords among people in business everywhere are globalization and international markets. In other words, more and more businesses are pushing their business engagements to not only the country or area they have traditionally operated in, but to new regions sometimes with a completely different culture and often language. In order to communicate with this new clientele, companies translation company often need the services of a technical translation company. As with the prudence expected with the purchase of any good or service, one must remember that not all translators will meet your requirements and minimum quality expectations. How then does one pick the best ones and evade those that are weak?
One of the best approaches you can take is to go for certified and accredited companies (in some countries however, technical translation companies do not have the option of getting an accreditation; in this case you would have to look at past performance and references). This would mean that someone else has assessed the quality of service that they offer and has established that it is up to standard. As you do this however, make sure the certification is one from a reputable certifying agency. Translation companies that are accredited must maintain certain minimum standards to ensure that their reputation is not dented. It is one way of ensuring that the technical interpreter tasked with handling your project is competent and professional translation services professional.
Before you award and assign work to any technical translation company, ask for samples. It would be a great plus if the company has handled not just the language you would like translated from or to, but the specific type of industry the translated text is meant for. I would even say that niche-specific experience is a must for subject-matter translations, especially since no credible translation agency would accept your order not having the right language pair specialists! Also, asking for copies of “thank you” letters and certificates would be appropriate.
Another key component is cost. You need to remember that you get what you pay for. Do not go for the company offering service at the cheapest price only to receive work that is so poorly done that it might require the hiring of another translation company to correct the errors. This would in effect nullify whatever savings you had hoped to achieve. When negotiating the price, take note that there are companies that, for example, offer pricing that is purely translation and excludes other related services such as proofreading. To address this, your R.F.P. (Request For Proposal) or any other similar document you intend to use to select the translation company must clearly define what it is you expect from the company selected while leaving room for the companies to provide additional information on value adding service they offer at no extra cost. This provision will allow you to assess on an equal footing all the companies you intend to use.