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The Check is not in the Mail: Top 5 Complaints by Translation Service Customers

Tutorials » The Check is not in the Mail: Top 5 Complaints by Translation Service Customers

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Translation service is a rapidly expanding industry. Thanks in large part to the internet, the world is shrinking by the day, with more and more industries in different countries turning to globalization. With this, of course, the need for translation and localization has risen exponentially, with yearly profits in the billions.

While this may be the case, still many people may be unfamiliar with how to order translation services, what’s involved, and what they should expect for the finished product.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the top 5 complaints by translation customers, and what they could/should do differently in order to avoid issues in the future.

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1. “Our translation company promises quality but occasionally falls short of our expectations.”

First, before determining that the quality is “poor”, make sure that you’re not determining different word choices as bad quality. There are hundreds of ways to say the same thing, and one translator may translate a phrase one way, while another may translate it another. Both can be good quality, however. If word choice is not the determining factor, and if it is indeed a poor translation, ask your translation service provider about their translation process, their quality assurance (QA) process, translator credentials and procedures for handling errors.

2. “We have a lot of technical documents and spend too much time trying to explain technical details to our translation provider.”

A good language service provider uses translators with specific experience in your industry. This means the translator already will have experience with your industry, including knowledge of translating specialized terminology. Speak with your translation service provider before ordering to ensure your document is being translated by a translator in your specialized field.

3. “I have been frustrated by translation companies that do a poor job formatting, or are unable to format the documents I need translated.”

More often than not, formatting issues are due to not being able to provide the original document files, whether in Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or any other program that was used to create the file. It is extremely difficult to keep the same formatting as the original when translation companies are provide with PDFs, Word files, or simple images.

That being said, if you are able to provide the original files, any good translation services company should be able to keep the original formatting with minimal difficulty. While multilingual desktop publishing (DTP), i.e. layout, formatting and graphics, can still be a challenge since some languages expand into more words than your source and others contract into fewer words, this can be accomplished by someone who is able to adjust the font sizes and image placement to get the best possible layout for the document. Be sure to check with your language service provider if they are knowledgeable in DTP.

4. “Our current translation vendor can translate most, but not all, of the languages we need.”

Some translation service providers may specialize in only a few languages or even just a single language. However, there are many companies that provide translation services for practically all languages. If you require your translation service provider to handle all of your needed languages, call around to some other companies and see if they can match the quality and price you are used to at your current company. With a little digging, you should have no problem finding one that fits all of your needs.

5. “Important deadlines have been missed waiting for documents to be translated.”

Deadlines are very important, and any professional translation service provider should know this. However, translation does take time and is not an instantaneous process. When ordering translations, are your deadlines realistic? Traditionally, translators can translate an average of 2,000 words a day accurately. If there is formatting and DTP needed as well, this may take additional time. Before ordering, please be sure to take this into account when scheduling your deadline. If the deadline is reasonable, then your translation service provider should be able to commit to the specified deadline.

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Tutorials » The Check is not in the Mail: Top 5 Complaints by Translation Service Customers

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