Society’s today is a truly global one, where companies are expected to operate around the clock to achieve success. All businesses ranging from individual enterprises to international corporations accelerate their globalization process by cooperating with language service providers to help them across national boundaries by translating and adapting their content for all types of audiences. If you intend to resonate your brand in local markets with a close and appropriate voice, this article will be a guideline to help you fully understand the language service providers and how to deliver a successful content localization project with them.
A language service provider (LSP) is a company, agency, or individual who offers language-related services such as translation, proofreading, interpreting, desktop publishing, etc. In the rise of technology and the Internet, these services become even more important and strategic to international companies as it gives must go far beyond the word translation you get from the search engine. Colors, images, and symbols should be culturally adapted, and metaphors, graphics need to be appropriate for the country setting.
A language service provider will deliver you valuable work such as:
There are several types of LSPs categorized primarily on structure and services.
These are individual people who provide the service, commonly are appropriate for dual language translation rather than multilingual work. With small to medium word volume projects, they may complete them at reasonable rates. But when it comes to more sophisticated tasks, you may have to reconsider your LSP.
An SLSP provides services with a specialty in a limited number of languages, which are often small providers associated with a customer-centric approach to projects. In addition, these companies typically possess a vast number of internal linguists and reviewers. Hence, they are able to accurately identify the regional intricate words, metaphors, idioms, jokes, and sarcasm in the target language.
An MLSP can manage and localize your projects into various languages that belong to specific areas. These medium-sized companies have several representative offices on particular continents and are able to provide the service to clients who want to penetrate some countries on the continent. When cooperating with these language agencies, your message will be in a higher level of consistency as their resource varies in different countries and the time for administrative issues will be eliminated.
MMLSPs are the localization industry’s heavy hitters. They are able to cover nearly every language in the world. These are international corporations that handle large-scale projects directly from the customers before assigning them to smaller language vendors. Since they have to sustain a large structure and program, their rates are commonly higher than other types of LSPs.
What should you ask your language service provider for a streamlined localization process?
To help ensure a successful outcome, here are 6 questions to ask your LSP before stepping into the process.
Different industries will have unique challenges when adapting content. Legal materials will require the expertise of a Lawyer, meanwhile, medical documentation will need an experienced professional to review as only subject-matter experts could understand the details, nuances, and special requirements of that content.
Some questions you should take into consideration include:
The price for each service of each LSP is various, some will charge per language translated, while others will charge depending on the number of words translated. Carefully discuss with your LSP to find out if there is any hidden cost before you officially start the project.
Some questions about the fee you should ask your LSP include:
We can’t deny the convenience of hiring volunteers and freelance translators. However, starting your global expansion on the free translation or competent efforts might lead to poor quality. Professional LSPs should have an evaluation process in place to vet qualified linguists to ensure that only top-notch talents will join the project.
Some questions for reference include:
No matter how proficient are the translators, they still may involuntarily create some mistakes, which result in the failure to meet your brand’s expectations. Additionally, there is always the possibility that the output will need extra work or a touch of creativity and similar activity. Hence, LSPs should develop a process to manage these similar situations and facilitate necessary revision agilely, so that your team doesn’t have to start an internal review process.
Some questions for reference include:
In the era of technology, we have vast tools and software to safely store and deliver files. Especially, content for your new products in the new target market should be strictly preserved and protected from rivals to avoid any disadvantageous situations. Hence, ensure that your LSP has secure storage for your output, or their technology could integrate with your existing tech stack.
Some questions to think about include:
After listing a number of questions to ask potential LSPs, you should identify the metrics to evaluate their ability. To help you make the right choice, here are 5 factors to consider when choosing the suitable one.
Clearly identify your linguistic requirements to how many and which languages you need to make your content available in and which LSP can provide that for you.
Furthermore, cooperating with one MLSP will be easier for administrative activities rather than multi-managing. This approach will help you oversee the process of ten separate SLSP or freelancers, due to the diversity in languages.
While penetrating a new market, you definitely want your products or services to become familiar with the locals by accurately speaking their native language. Only experienced and subject-matter translators can complete. Hence, while considering the appropriate LSPs, ask them to provide a documented quality assurance process and the resumes of translators who will grasp your projects. Of course, the translator might be with plenty of years of experience, but the second set of eyes won’t hurt to assure outstanding results throughout the entire project and prevent any poor-quality translation.
LSPs’ role is likely to present your brand creating its identity for international markets. That means you should develop smooth and effective communication any time you need it, especially when an emergency arises. Therefore, find out whether their customer service is reactive by identifying if they’ll provide a single point of contact. With LSPs having significantly different time zones you should empathize that they may not respond to you promptly.
A lot of LSPs have integrated machine translation to accelerate their processes. Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools pave the way for translators to work better and accurately deliver a top-notch translation for a fraction of the cost. However, professional linguists will not overuse the tools as it may lead to nonsense sentences and literally translated idioms. Therefore, you should find out more about how they will apply these software in the processes. Of course, you should ensure that translators have adequate tools to work with all types of file formats either.
There is a wide range of prices for you to choose from. Should you go for the most expensive solution, or try to drive down your cost on LSP? Even if you are on a tight budget, don’t completely rely on the one with the lowest price. Otherwise, you risk working with a questionable LSP, lack of management skills, get the poor-quality translation, or even worse, reflect the wrong image of your brand and damage your reputation.
Here are 5 things about LSPs that you should take into consideration when finding localization services that match your requirements. Carrying out proper research to find the appropriate fit for your business may take substantial resources and a lot of time, why don’t you connect with the experts at Wise-Concetti to streamline the process?