How to choose the right translation services

The choice of translation service is broken down into two main areas. Each of the steps are important and will determine how happy you are with the translation service. If you want the best translation, then consider following the steps to help you make the best choice. The steps are not mutually exclusive and both steps should be taken into account when selecting the best translation service. 

First, you need to choose your translation services provider. A translation service provider can be a company or an individual. Second, you need to select the right service type for your language services. Service offerings are broad and diverse.


Choosing the right translation company

A translation service provider can be a company or an individual.  Most translation agencies, even the largest international translation companies have a combination of full time staff and freelance translators.  

Local, National or International

Local translators

Many of the single language translators only act locally.  They will be their city and many of them work from their home. Single city translation companies are also very common.  The will have a small group of translators and will be limited in their expertise.  This does not mean that they should not be considered, however, keep in mind the current and future translation services you or your business may need.  If they are specialists in certificate and simple document translations and that is what you require, then they are definitely a good choice.

National translation companies

National companies will provide translation services to the major cities in the country.  They may centralize the project management of the larger jobs.  They will work with digital copies of documents are likely to have tools to manage the process.  

International translation agencies

International agencies also come in all shapes and sizes.  They still have specialities. The are mostly used by the big companies for multi-national, multi-ethnic communications and translations.

Size of translation company

As the saying goes, it can matter.  Too big and you may get lost in the crowd.  You may be a small fish in the big pond.  Generally, the biggest companies do have transactional translation business offering.  There is not likely to be personal service for smaller to medium businesses.

If the translation company is too small then you also may have issues.  They may not be insured and they also may not have experience in your specific translation requirement. It is our expeience that you get a translation company that is international but only in a limited number of countries, you are likely to get superior service.

Select the right service

Translation services can be as varied and car mechanics.  You need to match your requirments with their expertise.  

Delivery methods

The service can be delivered by a number of different methods: 

  • Machine translation - this is where a computer does the translation for you.  For example:  Google translate.
  • Translation using Translation Memory (TM) - This is where the translator is assisted by technology where the word has been translated previously and they use that as the basis for the translation)
  • Human translation - This is where a person does the translation using their knowledge of the different words.
  • Interpreter Services - This is where translator translates the spoken word.


Getting a translator or interpreter who has prior experience in your field assists with the accuracy of the translation or interpreting.  Some of the common areas include:

  • Specific languages
  • eLearning translation
  • Asian languages
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Legal Translations and Interpreting
  • Localization
  • Spanish Languages
  • Medical and Health Care

Use this information to choose the best translation service.  Discuss with your translation service provider and ask whether they have prior experience with the specifics of the translation or interpreting services you need.