Translation services online - 5 quality criteria

September 24, 2016

It can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to comparing translation services found online. After all, anyone can throw up a website. That said, there are a few pointers that can help you to start to pick a suitable translation provider, be they agency or freelancer.

  1. Indemnity insurance. Providers such as Hiscox in the UK provide policies for language services.
  2. Real address, displayed prominently, along with landline phone number. Obviously prerequisites for those genuinely trading with real clients.
  3. Claims of 10,000+ linguists on their staff. That would probably be every translator in the UK, give or take a few hundred. They are essentially saying they have access to the public directories of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and/or the Institute of Translators and Interpreters. It’s clearly a tactic to impress, rather than a reflection of a carefully curated team of specialists.
  4. Background of the owner. Ideally involved in the language industry as a translator themselves, or with provable experience in language service companies.
  5. Personal or company membership of the CIoL, ITI or ATC, if in the UK. ATA for the US, SFO for Sweden, SFT for France, and many more besides. The membership criteria for these associations are relatively strict so are a great quality indicator compared to no association memberships.

That ought to help you weigh up the various options available. And you are of course always welcome to call us if you’d rather not search and sort through dozens of options yourself.

To talk translation, call now on 01332 460 747