how-to-choose-the-right-translation-servicePeople need translations for many reasons. Some people travel around the globe. Some people do international business. Most of us at least search for information in the internet and sometimes it is available only in a language that we don’t speak. Because the needs are so different, people use different criterion when choosing a translation service provider. Here’s a list of elements that are more or less important to most translation buyers.


Although the price is often used as an indicator of quality, the translation industry tends to overemphasize prices. The sad truth is that there’s always a cheaper option and a machine will always win the race to zero. Translation buyers usually want the best fit for their needs with a reasonable price. It’s not rare that buyers ask quotes from several providers just to see the general price range. Overall, it’s hard to believe that the cheapest choice would be selected just because it’s the cheapest. (Sometimes public entities may be obligated to choose the lowest price by some law or regulation but that’s a different story.) Only those translation buyers who understand very little about translations may focus heavily on the price. In a situation like this a wise vendor gently educates the buyer by telling about the other elements of a successful translation.

Translation quality

To hide the role of prices, translation service providers usually highlight that they produce only impeccable quality. For the buyers that’s a positive thing, but do they actually expect anything else. Shouldn’t good quality be foregone conclusion for any professional translation? By emphasizing only the best quality, translation sellers blend into the mass. High translation quality is such a general expression that it’s almost a cliché. If you call yourself a professional translator, people expect you to produce professional translation quality.

Expertise in the subject

Translation buyers are different. They work in different industries. They have different motivations. Their materials are different. They search for translators who have specialized in their subjects. Just like writing,  translating different types of texts requires different skills and specialized knowledge. When expertise in some particular field is needed it usually becomes the no.1 priority for finding the right translator.

Prompt delivery

Fast delivery is important to some translation customers; others have more time to wait. Even so, every translation buyer expects that the delivery is made on time and without delays. If something is promised to be done too quickly, it often feels suspicious. It must be too good to be true. The buyer might think that the quality will suffer from the speed.

Good reputation

When it is difficult to choose, an easy option is to listen what others think. The internet has made it a piece of cake to share opinions. A good reputation is slow to build and thus it gives a reliable picture of the service provider. Translators also know that a good reputation is fairly easy to ruin.

Professional attitude

While reputation spreads mainly through the networks, professionalism is present in the personal communication. Translation buyers can be very sensitive for the weak signals. Translation services often require a huge amount of trust because the customer may not be able to confirm the quality by oneself. The translation work is important to the customer; he is willing to invest some money on it. He expects to be respected. Also, there are situations when the material is confidential. Then the potential translation buyer looks for a provider who is able to act extremely professionally and is 100% trustworthy.

Personal chemistry

A lot of people interactions are based on chemistry, and translation industry isn’t any different. Reliability or the feeling of reliability is important in all types of businesses. All the items in this list include personal chemistry at some extent. It is possible that the price and expertise are perfect but still the translation service provider doesn’t ‘feel right’. Potential customers pay attention to chemistry especially if they are looking for a long term business relationship.

Once the translation buyer has chosen a provider it is very likely that he will buy from the same provider again. Of course the first interaction needs to be satisfying or at least tolerable for repeated purchases to happen. But when the buyer finds someone who fills the requirements the threshold for going through the searching phase again is quite high.


software localization tools Easy project sharing is very important to the success of the translation project. Multilizer Localization Tools offers simple ways to share information between the translation buyer and the translator, and a free editor to the translators. Learn more.