Insights March 8, 2018

Knowing what you’re getting is ‘right’.

Craig Smith
By Craig Smith

One of the most frequent questions we’re asked is, “How can I know myself, without speaking the language, that the translation is right?”


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Well the simple answer is, you can’t! …Unless you plan to learn every language that you need translated, you will inevitably be putting yourself in someone else’s hands.

Don’t worry though, you are not alone. Anyone in the position of outsourcing translations has had to take a step into the unknown, to some extent. But you can feel more confident in your undertaking by making the right choice of translation supplier.

Here are our suggestions of things to look out for:

Are their translators subject specific?
You want your texts translated by a professional linguist, who also knows your subject matter. Has your supplier offered you linguist profiles? Assessing translators’ experience yourself can give you more reassurance in selecting who is right for you.

Is proofreading included?
Proofreading is an important step in ensuring quality of a translation, not just in terms of accuracy but also style and flow. Ask your supplier if this is part of their standard process or offered as an additional service.

Will your supplier create and maintain glossaries?
This is a valuable tool for ensuring consistency of terminology and in-house jargon across your different materials, and also if you work with a team of several translators.

Do they keep their promises?
For example, do they stick to agreed delivery times? A reliable supplier is more likely to attract the best linguists, who will be able to work on your translations.

Do they care?
Your supplier should take an interest in the final product. You want them to be proactive and ask about your target audience, intended use of the text and any other background information and reference materials.


Talk to your supplier about your needs or concerns. After all, you both want the same thing; the very best translations, a smooth process and hands-on quality assurance – in other words, getting it right!