How to Choose a Language Services Provider

There has been a large influx of language services providers in the market place. This has made it difficult to differentiate between “mom and pop” language services providers and those that offer high quality, comprehensive services.

Here are the top five criteria you should use when trying to find a language services provider.


  1. Is the language services provider accredited by third-party “standards” organizations?


When choosing a language services provider, always make sure they are recognized by a local association that monitors quality and standards. If the company has offices internationally, make sure they are also accredited by international organizations.

Certifications to look for include: ISO 9001, CAN/CGSB – 131.10-2008, and EN 15038. But never accept the bare minimum.

  1. Have they made significant investments in the field of language services?


This is an important one. Is there evidence that the company is making significant investments in improving the provision of language services? Do they offer innovative services like “video remote interpreting” (this service will be explored in my next post)? Did they develop the interface or did they license it from another company?

A company that invests in “added value” types of language services is generally better equipped to serve you, both technologically and in terms of personalized service.

  1. Do they use human translations instead of machine translations?


With the advent of Google Translations and other translation software, organizations may opt to do their own translations. This is a huge mistake because this type of software does not take into consideration context or cultural nuances. An even bigger mistake is spending your hard earned cash on a language services provider that relies on this type of software to do their translation work.

Choose a company like Able Translations. They only use human translators.

  1. Do they offer more than just interpreting and translating?


The long-term strategic plan of major organizations often involve a plan for global market penetration. Make sure that the language services provider you choose offers more than just the core services. Even if you don’t need them right away, services like multicultural design, application and product localization, and cultural consulting will eventually come in handy. You don’t want to have to switch horses mid-race.

  1. Do they offer free quotes?


Would you buy a car without test driving it? Even more to the point, would you sign the lease before knowing the price? The same situation applies to language services providers. You need to be able to anticipate costs. Getting dinged with a large, unexpected bill for services can disrupt your cash flow. If they offer free quotes, take advantage of it. It will allow you to update your budget and it also shows you that the language services provider is committed to customer services.

There you have it, the top five things to look for before hiring a language services provider.

For more information on Translations in Toronto visit Able Translations.