When you hire a translation service, you’re taking a leap of faith. It could be a letter to potential investors, an academic proposal, a doctor’s note to someone in hospital overseas, or even be a full translation of your entire website.

No matter how big or small, we all know how embarrassing and potentially ruinous a failure of translation can be. It sticks out like a sore thumb, and once we have seen an error, it can be hard to come back from it. 

This is why it’s so important to make sure that you hire a translation service you can trust, but how do you know what to look for? Here are a few things that you should consider before you hire a translator.

Look For Certification And Experience

Certification

This may sound like a simple step, but with so many different translation services out there, one of the easiest ways to whittle down your options is to look for a company that can offer certified translations for businesses and legal firms.

It’s also important to note that a good review for one service may not be relevant to you, as translating an academic manuscript may require a completely different set of skills to translating a legal document, for example.  

Look For A Variety Of Different Services

Now, there are times when you may be looking for one very specific thing, but if you want a quick way to feel reassured about a translation service’s capabilities, then a diverse portfolio can be a great place to start.

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As above, many of these services may not be relevant to you (you may not need to have an app’s content translated, for example), but if the experience is backed up by a confident mix of services then it’s a very good sign indeed.

For example, if you are looking for a site to translate Italian to English, look for translation, back translation, and a transcription service could be invaluable, particularly one that can offer sector-specific expertise.

London Translations is a great example of a service that can cover a wide range of needs for businesses, academics, and beyond.

Look For Expertise

Expertise

Again, this one may sound a little obvious, but when it comes down to it, a translation service’s biggest asset is its translators. A good service should be extremely proud of the people they use.

You should ideally be looking at a native speaker guarantee to make sure that there are no language-specific nuances that are being overlooked. Many of the best services will be able to offer translators with at least some knowledge of the subject that they’re working on.

On a similar note to the point above, you should also check that there is a large number of languages available through their service.    

Look For Customer Service

Customer Service

One of the facts about translation is that it isn’t normally something you can afford to be particularly patient with. If you are employing a professional translating service, you tend to need the finished product sooner rather than later.

Look for a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week guarantee, and make sure that they are upfront about how much time it will take to turn it around.

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Things are tough for new businesses right now, everyone is hustling and every minute counts, so a guaranteed completion date is always valuable.