First, you need to understand that the Translations industry is NOT standardized or otherwise heavily regulated to ensure that all companies operate according to a set of agreed upon rules. While there are a few different associations within the larger industry that are doing their best to figure out what bar all agencies should be held up to, the industry has neither reached an overarching agreement on what the bar entails and no larger regulatory agency has been assembled to ensure those standards.Translation Services
This is made more difficult by the very multi-national nature of translation services. It’s difficult enough to standardize an industry as large and diverse as the translation industry within a single country, it’s almost impossible to do so when you’re talking about a worldwide network of translation services. You can, however, give yourself a little more peace of mind by hiring a translation agency that belongs to one of the more reputable and established translation agencies out there.
Similarly there are various certifications that translation agencies and individuals can achieve and use to help display their commitment to professionalism within their field. While some buyers find comfort in hiring an individual or agency that has achieved an impressive listing of certifications, just because a translator is certified does NOT mean that they are a better choice than a translator who is uncertified. Certifications can provide a little peace of mind, but due to the lack of universal regulations within the industry certification doesn’t guarantee a translator’s quality.
Now, you also need to be wary of thinking that a larger translation agency is going to be superior to a smaller translation agency. This isn’t necessarily the case, as larger agencies tend to provide a lower level of oversight to the process than smaller agencies. In fact, larger translations agencies are known for farming the vast majority of their work out to individuals who aren’t supervised or held particularly accountable for their work. On the other hand smaller agencies often hold closer relationships with their translators and provide more checks and reviews to ensure the accuracy of their work.
In fact there’s only one good way to ensure you’ll get high quality, accurate work from a translation agency and that’s to make your decision based on referrals. Do you know anyone who has a successful long-term relationship with a translation agency? Which of the agencies that you’re looking at has the best track record and the best client retention rate?
If you’re considering a few different agencies do your research and figure out which has the best track record when it comes to individuals independently touting their services. There’s no better way to find a company worth hiring.